Friday, February 10, 2012

Spiced Asian Pears with Sweetened Ricotta

Where has ricotta cheese been all my life?  I feel like I've been living (or at least eating) in a closet!  I'm in love!  Here I thought it was only good for a hearty lasagna, but just a tiny bit a sugar is all it needs and it is THE BEST TREAT ever! (Pretty high in protein and can be low in fat too.)  Something about the texture--I think it goes back to that a fore mentioned love I have of all thing soft, sweet, and mushy, and it fits into that category. Then, kick it up a notch with this little concoction I came up with, and dare I say this is my new favorite dessert? Yes.  I dare. :)

*Lyd's Tip:  Just thought I would mention that this is a great way to use up old apples- it breathes new life into them.  No one but you will know that they were getting a bit old and wrinkly. :)  You should know that I used some Asian pears I picked up at the end of the farmer's market in October- but don't panic- I am about 2 months behind on this post.  They weren't that far gone. :)  However, they did sit on my counter for a VERY long time, haunting me.  If only I had known that this was what they were trying to tell me they wanted to be, it would have happened a lot sooner.

Spiced Asian Pears with Sweetened Ricotta (By Lyd)
Ricotta Mixture:
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 T sugar (more or less to taste)
Tiny drop of Almond or vanilla extract

Pear Mixture:
About 3-4 Asian Pears, peeled and thinly sliced (*Please note that APPLES WORK GREAT, don't feel like you have to be so exotic... I just happened to have some Asian pears as I was experimenting and I love the crunchy texture- I dislike the bitter, woody peel though.  If you do apples, you could probably just leave the peel on- I would anyway.)
1-2 T butter
1-2 T sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1 tsp lemon juice

Stir together ricotta mixture ingredients until incorporated; set aside.  In a large frying/sauce pan heat butter on medium heat.  When butter is melted, put in Asian pears.  Stir frequently, mixing in sugar and spices. Add lemon juice and continue heating until pears are cooked, but still maintain some crispness. (About 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add a little water or reduce heat if cooking too quickly.  You can also "put a Lyd on it" if you want it too cook faster. (I love slipping that in there. :)
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Momma Kaye said...

You are such a gourmet, Lydia! I actually think I could try this in Phase 3--- especially if I used stevia instead of sugar. Yum! Can't wait. Any upcoming recipes for fish, fish, and more fish?

jess and seth said...

You are making me pine for the days of Helping Hands and the strange pears that I could never convince my kids to eat. Just a year too late ... but I will have to try it with apples.

Also, have you tried mascarpone cheese? I think it's similar to Ricotta, but a bit more creamy and less flavor. Another HH specialty I didn't utilize like I ought.