It has been a while since I posted a seasonal recipe here on the blog but today’s visit to a local farmer’s market inspired me. This year so far has has been an abundant one with plentiful cherries, apricots, figs. Let’s hope it keeps going that way as last year was tough for Italian farmers.If you are in Italy at the moment keep your head up to check those wild cherry trees. Last weekend I went for a walk in the mountains, not far from my house, and came home with more than a kilo of delicious juicy ruby red cherries. First, I wanted to make ratafia, a traditional local cherry liquor but decided to give in to instant gratification urge and whipped up this quintessentially Italian dessert instead. A low calorie guilt-free treat it is not. Rich and sinfully good it is best enjoyed slowly, on a warm Italian evening.
Ricotta Mousse with wild cherries poached in Montepulciano D’Abruzzo
Serves 6 to 8
2 cups Montepulciano D’Abruzzo wine
1/3 cup sugar
3 cups cherries (I prefer not pitted as they give a richer flavour)
3 oz fresh sheep ricotta
3 oz mascarpone cheese
1 cup double cream
Prepare the mousse: In a large bowl, whip until smooth the ricotta and mascarpone cheese. In another large bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cheese mixture. Leave in the fridge for an hour. Spoon the mix in small ramekins or ice cream bowls shortly before serving.
Clean and wash the cherries. In a medium saucepan, mix the cherries, wine and sugar. Heat them over low heat, stirring gently until the wine is hot and the sugar is dissolved. Cool down the cherries slightly and pour them over the mousse. If you prefer your dessert cold wait till the poached cherries cool down, leave them in the fridge for 30 minutes and then serve them over the mousse.