Spuma di ricotta alle pesche

Spuma di ricotta alle pesche sciroppate (Whipped Ricotta with Peaches in Syrup)

In dessert by Frank36 Comments

I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. As I’ve mentioned before, dessert at home usually consists of a piece of fresh fruit, served au naturel. When we do feel like something a bit more elaborate, it’s likely to be something like this simple spuma di ricotta: ricotta whipped with sugar and enriched with a bit of mascarpone and topped with peaches which have been steeped in simple syrup, with some chopped almonds on top for crunch.

While not exactly a spur of the moment dish—since the ricotta needs to chill in fridge for a spell—, a spuma di ricotta takes minimal effort. It looks elegant and inviting, and tastes sumptuous.

Ingredients

For each serving:

For the whipped ricotta:

  • 100-125 g (1/4 lb) ricotta cheese, well drained
  • 2-3 heaping Tbs powdered sugar (or to taste)
  • 2-3 Tbs mascarpone or Greek yogurt

For the candied peaches:

  • 250 ml/1 cup water
  • 200g/1 cup sugar
  • 1 or 2 peaches, peeled and cut into wedges

Toppings (optional):

  • Chopped almonds or walnuts
  • Pine nuts

Directions

Make the whipped ricotta: Whisk the ricotta and sugar together in the bowl until soft and creamy. Add the mascarpone or Greek yogurt and whisk again briefly, just until smooth. Place the fridge for a good hour to set, or until you’re ready to serve.

Make the candied peaches: Simmer the water and sugar together in a saucepan until the sugar has completely melted and the liquid has formed a syrup. Add the peach wedges and lower the heat to a minimum. Let the peaches steep for 5 minutes or so, then turn off the heat entirely. Let the peaches come to room temperature.

Assemble and serve: When you are ready to serve, place a few good dollops of the whipped ricotta in each serving bowl. Place some peach wedges on top, along with a spoonful of their syrup if you like. To serve, sprinkle with some chopped almonds or walnuts, or some pine nuts.

Spuma di ricotta alle pesche

Notes on spuma di ricotta alle pesche sciroppate

As heretical as it may sound, I think Greek yogurt makes a fine substitute for the mascarpone for making a spuma di ricotta. It’s much easier to find in supermarkets and costs a fraction of the price. And while you could make your spuma with nothing but ricotta and sugar, the mascarpone or yogurt add both a mild tang and creaminess that smooths out the slight graininess of the ricotta.

If you’d like fluffier spuma di ricotta, you can fold in some whipped cream. Take a cup of heavy cream, whipped until it forms peaks. Now take a dollop of the whipped cream and mix it thoroughly with the ricotta, which you will have already prepared as indicated above. Then gently fold in the rest of the whipped cream with a spatula until you have a smooth mixture.

For a richer version of whipped ricotta more like an mousse, see this post.

I have played a bit fast and loose when I call these pesche sciroppate. The true recipe has you can the peaches in simple syrup and put them up for at least a month before serving. But this quick approach—which I ‘stole’ from Ada Boni’s recipe for pesche alla crema, provides a fairly convincing simulacrum. And of course, store-bought peaches in syrup will do in a pinch—although as you can see, they are really simple to make yourself. Other fruits that can be made sciroppati include apricots, cherries, strawberries and pineapple, peeled and cut into chunks.

For a different approach to the fruit, you can marinate them with lemon and sugar as for making a fruit salad (macedonia di frutta), perhaps laced it with a bit of liqueur if you like.

Spuma di ricotta alle pesche sciroppate (Whipped Ricotta with Peaches in Syrup)

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Per serving

Spuma di ricotta alle pesche sciroppate (Whipped Ricotta with Peaches in Syrup)

Ingredients

    For the whipped ricotta:
  • 100-125 g (1/4 lb) ricotta cheese, well drained
  • 2-3 heaping Tbs powdered sugar (or to taste)
  • 2-3 Tbs mascarpone or Greek yogurt
  • For the candied peaches:
  • 250 ml/1 cup water
  • 200g/1 cup sugar
  • 1 or 2 peaches, peeled and cut into wedges
  • Toppings (optional):
  • Chopped almonds or walnuts
  • Pine nuts

Directions

  1. Make the whipped ricotta: Whisk the ricotta and sugar together in the bowl until soft and creamy. Add the mascarpone or Greek yogurt and whisk again briefly, just until smooth. Place the fridge for a good hour to set, or until you're ready to serve.
  2. Make the candied peaches: Simmer the water and sugar together in a saucepan until the sugar has completely melted and the liquid has formed a syrup. Add the peach wedges and lower the heat to a minimum. Let the peaches steep for 5 minutes or so, then turn off the heat entirely. Let the peaches come to room temperature.
  3. Assemble and serve: When you are ready to serve, place a few good dollops of the whipped ricotta in each serving bowl. Place some peach wedges on top, along with a spoonful of their syrup if you like. To serve, sprinkle with some chopped almonds or walnuts, or some pine nuts.
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Comments

  1. July is all about the stone fruits. I love the make-ahead. I love that it is not too sweet and I love the presentation. (Yep, that’s a lot of “loves.”)

  2. I just made this dessert to rave reviews from friends. It is delicious. So easy to make. I added plums to the peaches and am looking forward to trying other fruits too. Thanks for a great recipe.

    1. Author

      That’s fantastic, Claire! I’m delighted to hear it. Thanks so much for your comment.

  3. Well, I cannot say I don’t enjoy desserts, however I do try to abstain; Peaches and Ricotta – how can you go wrong? I too make a practice of draining ricotta, for just about anything, it really makes a difference. The addition of the Greek yogurt is intriguing and I shall definitely try with peaches or any summer fruit I may have on hand. Grazie Frank!

  4. Frank – well I am from the opposite tradition (I grew up eating dessert every night!), I am trying to eat more fresh fruit or light desserts such as your spuma di ricotta. I might have to make this with our locally made goat milk ricotta. I have beautiful fresh peaches, too, for the topping – and I might use crumbled amaretti cookies instead of almonds! Thanks for a beautiful recipe once again.

    1. Author

      And thank you for your comment, David. I bet this would be marvelous with goat milk ricotta. Do let us know what you think if you try it.

  5. I love almost all desserts, unfortunately, as my waistline demonstrates. This one looks not only delicious, but somewhat healthy. And peaches in season are my absolutely favorite fruit.

    1. Author

      Peaches are a real treat, aren’t they? My favorite summer fruit, too. Watermelons may give them a run for their money, but only when they’re really sweet, which isn’t very often it seems.

  6. We love all the desserts that include fruit like this one. What a beautiful recipe for the summer, now that peaches are in peak season:) Can’t wait to give this a try, we can already envision ourselves enjoying this on our veranda in the afternoon:)
    Really great recipe Frank!
    Lots and lots of greetings from Athens!

    1. Author

      Ricotta and peaches on the veranda in the afternoon… now that’s an image I really like. Enjoy! 🙂

  7. I don’t really eat desserts either, or as I’ve mentioned, I make them just to make them, but then throw them away! A terrible thing to do! but this I would eat! And it’s so pretty.

    1. Author

      Thanks, Mimi. I guess some of us were born with sweet tooths, others like us, not. One of life’s little mysteries… 😉

  8. Oh, as the peaches are in season, I should make this for my “I’m of Italian heritage and I don’t really like sweet desserts” husband. The one who always seems to finish every sweet American-style dessert that I make. 🙂

  9. ricetta semplice ma assolutamente raffinata, adoro la ricotta e qui è proprio irresistibile ! Buona settimana Frank !

  10. I love this dessert! Light and tasty and just perfect for summer! I also love the Greek yogurt and whipped cream option as I make a semi-freddo type dessert using this combination with berries and crushed meringues which is to die for!

    1. Author

      That does sound good, Christina! I’ve been meaning to blog on semifreddo for quite some time now. I may head to your blog for inspiration.

  11. Sounds yummy-almost like cannoli filling ….although I’d skip the Greek yogurt. Just the smell of the stuff that gets called that here puts me off. It is unfortunate that mascarpone is so expensive here. What we usually have for dessert in the summer is also peach based, pesche in vino. We put fresh peach slices into our wine glass and pour in the vino. When you have consumed the vino you are left with wine soaked peaches. Mmmm. They aren’t quite available yet, but will be soon. Ciao, Cristina

  12. Greek yogurt is a good idea, and something I usually have on hand. Great looking dessert — loads of flavor, not too sweet, and just filling enough. Thanks!

  13. I love the recipe but how do I print it with out using up about 10 sheets

    1. Author

      Check out the print button that’s at the upper right hand corner of the recipe form at the end of the post. It should give you a printable one-page version of the recipe.

  14. Healthly delicious! I love peaches, in particular nectarins. I have a similar recipe (that it will published in my second book at the end of the year) and I soak nectarines in passito wine and serve with Greek yogurt or Italian ice cream. I will try your recipe with ricotta. Thanks for sharing! Happy Summer. Paola

  15. I enjoy desserts and sweets, especially when they are not overly sweet, have fruit in them or chocolate. Instead of the ricotta we use Quark in Germany.

  16. This sounds delightful, and not too rich, the perfect summer dessert. Your spuma di ricotta sounds a bit like the filling I make for cannoli. I love the idea of pairing it with peaches.

  17. lucky u not too have a sweet tooth… I hate desserts that are too sweet (most US desserts/recipes, I am afraid – sorry US people : ), but I like them as a category.
    I miss good ricotta soo much…: here in London, it is impossible to find good fresh ricotta, I mean, the one that has only few days of “shelf” life: with a little sugar or jam, it was one of my favorite desserts in Italy. I like yr idea of mixing ricotta with greek yogurt (by the way: oddly enough, mascarpone here is not expensive at all)
    on poached peaches: I use the same techniques, but I rarely peel the peaches: the skin gives the most beautiful color to the juices. st

    1. Author

      I do agree about American desserts often being too sweet. Pecan pie can be cloyingly sweet, for example, although I rather like it on occasion in a small portion. And I do enjoy a good piece of cheesecake every now and then, not too sweet at all, although very rich.

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