Summer weekends are made for family time. There is nothing better than a brunch on the patio with the wind gently blowing through your hair, mimosas sparkling on the table and brunch with fresh, local fruits as the main attraction. One of our favourites are the delightfully sweet, and sour cherry. Peaking in quality just as the summer begins getting its warmest, these dark red almost purple beauties are perfect to be paired with the creaminess of a fresh ricotta.
Serves: 4 people
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 to 35 minutes
For the Baked Ricotta
300g / 1 ½ cup Ricotta
116g / ½ cup Cream cheese, room temperature
74g / ⅓ cup Crystal margarine, plus extra for pan lining
1g / 1 tsp Cinnamon
110g / 1/4 cup Honey
4 Egg yolks
- Ideally, remove any of the needed ingredients from the fridge, about 30 minutes before mixing. You want everything to be the same temperature as it makes for a smoother finished product. But if you’re short on time that’s ok too.
- While the ingredients are coming to room temperature, pre-heat your oven to 275F (135C)
- Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl, with an electric mixer on low speed, begin creaming the ingredients together until smooth and even. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. If you don’t have the time to let the ingredients come to room temperature, then take your time with this step, you want it to be nice and smooth.
- Lightly grease the inside of 4 oven safe ramekins with a little extra Crystal Margarine, then divide the ricotta filling evenly amongst them. Give each ramekin a quick tap on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
- Place the ramekins onto a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet into the oven, pour about a cup of water onto the baking sheet, to help give the oven some added moisture.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the center has a firm jiggle. Once they reach a firm jiggle, turn on the broiler and let them sit for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the top starts to go golden.
- Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.
- While the ricotta is in the oven, begin preparing the cherry topping.
For the Cherry compote on top
400g / 2 cups Cherries, cleaned, stems removed and pitted
15g / 2 tbsp Brown sugar
30g / 2 tbsp Crystal Margarine
10ml / 2 tsp Lemon juice
60g / ½ cup Hazelnuts, toasted and crushed
12-14 pieces of Multigrain crackers, melba toast or bagel chips
- Once you have your cherries pitted, begin melting the Crystal margarine into a medium pan.
- In a separate bowl, combine the cherries with the brown sugar, and give them a toss to start dissolving the sugar.
- Add the cherries and sugar to the pan once the margarine is bubbling. Toss them to coat evenly and allow them to simmer for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once the cherries start to go tender and give off a little juice, add in the lemon juice, stir and simmer for another 20-30 seconds. You don’t want to cook the cherries until they are mushy, just enough to give off a little juice and to make a nice sauce.
- Remove the cherries from the heat and set aside in a bowl, until the ricotta is fully baked.
- Once the ricotta is baked and cooled slightly, top each of the ramekins with a little of the cherry compote, and a sprinkle of the toasted hazelnuts.
- Serve with a side of your favourite multigrain cracker, melba toast, or some bagel chips, for a fancy family brunch.
- When buying ricotta, try to use full fat, as it has less liquid and makes for a smoother, creamier finished product. If you can’t find it, try lining a strainer with some paper towel or cheesecloth, dump in the ricotta and let it rest for a bit so that some of the liquid can run off.