I like simple fruit desserts in the summer. Fresh fruit doesn’t need much done to it. A farmer’s market stand I went to last week had the most amazing plums. Their italian prune plums looked divine. Unfortunately, we didn’t buy any that day. But they’ve been on my mind ever since. I just had to figure out a way to get some plums to eat. Well, instead I found some velvet apricots at the store. No, they weren’t the italian plums stuck in my head but they did intrigue me. It turns out they are a cross between a plum and an apricot. They have a smoother skin than an apricot and have a juicy tart flavor. Why not try them out in a recipe for stewed fruit?
This isn’t your mother’s stewed fruit. There’s no prunes to be found. You can still taste the freshness of the fruit when enjoying a spoonful. This recipe is the perfect fleeting days of summer dessert. You get the creamy freshness of the ricotta cheese mixed with lemon zest is a great foil for the sweet richness of the velvet apricots with maple syrup and vanilla bean.
It’s so simple to make. Just cut up some fruit (any stone fruit would do or any berries), add some sweetener to the pot, maybe a spice like vanilla or cinnamon, and simmer it for 15 minutes. It would be the perfect dessert for an easy dinner party. The fruit you can cook earlier in the day and just top individual portions of ricotta with it when you are ready to serve dessert. You could also use Labneh or farmer’s cheese instead of the ricotta. The combinations of fruit and cheese are endless.
- 6-8 plums or apricots (I used velvet apricots)
- 1/2 of a vanilla bean, slit open
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
- Zest of 1/2 of a lemon
- 1/4 cup toasted almonds, smashed
- Slice the fruit up into wedges, discarding the pits.
- Combine fruit, opened vanilla bean, and maple syrup in a small pot.
- Simmer the fruit mixture on medium heat until the fruit begins to break down. I like to leave some that is almost melted while other pieces are still intact. Stir frequently.
- Sprinkle a pinch sea salt into pot and stir one last time, set aside so that fruit cools to room temp.
- Combine lemon zest with ricotta cheese.
- In an individual bowl, put about 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese then 1/2 of the fruit mixture.
- Sprinkle dessert with the smashed almonds and extra lemon zest.