Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Blackberry and Ricotta Parfaits

These may sound a little weird but they're actually quite good. I don't think ricotta cheese instantly comes to mind as a dessert ingredient for most people.  But it does for me.  I first feel in love with it way back as a cannoli loving teen.  I loved it so much I checked out an Italian dessert cookbook from the local library just to learn how to make the cannoli filling.

Unfortunately, I don't have a recipe for you. It's more of a "method" as these were born out of my children's complete love of sweetened ricotta cheese and the need to use up some blackberries that were on their last leg.  (See Monica we love other things besides bananas! :-)

Here's what I did.... I took ricotta cheese, drained it, and then whisked in some sugar.  I've also used honey and powdered sugar.  Depending what I'm layering with the cream I've also added lemon and orange zest, Fiori di Sicilia, vanilla, and almond extracts.  Use whatever works for you.  My children will eat the ricotta cream just sweetened with nothing else, but they love it best with berries.  In this case I had some blackberries that had seen better days.  I tossed most of the blackberries into a small pot and cooked them down with a little bit of sugar.  Once they had released their juices and the berries were sufficiently softened I took them off the stove and I stirred in the few berries I had reserved.  (I did this to add more texture.)  While the berries were cooking I crushed up some Maria cookies for a third layer.  Because I wanted the contradiction of hot and cold, I had the cream chilling in the freezer during the few minutes it took to cook the berries.  Layer up the cookies, cream, and berries and your done!  Easy and delicious!  

BTW, if you haven't ben able to tell I am having serious issues with formatting! ughhh

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