Monday, September 04, 2006

Layered Peach & Ricotta Squares

A Peachy Spin on Tiramisu!

What inspired me to create this dessert? I had peaches and ricotta in the fridge and wanted to use them up before they went bad. What can I say, my frugal side often prompts me to come up with great ideas.

I searched the internet for desserts using these two ingredients and did'nt find many. I found some great recipes for one or the other that I saved, but nothing great using both together.
Layered Peach Sqares
from the Magazine of La Cucina Italiana was the recipe that finally inspired me. It did'nt use any cheese, just layers of peaches, chocolate and lady fingers brushed with Maraschino Liqueur. Since I love Amaretto, I used that, instead.

The original recipe also had an interesting sauce that I did'nt make, but I would have, if I had the ingredients on hand. I will include it in case you would like to try it.

Layered Peach & Ricotta Squares
Adapted from the Magazine of La Cucina Italiana, July/Aug. 2004

2 T butter, plus extra
4 Peaches, ripe but still firm, pitted and thinly sliced
2 T sugar
2 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
28 Lady Fingers
3 T Amaretto, divided
16 ounces Part-skim Ricotta
1/4 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Zest of one Lemon

In a skillet over medium heat, add the butter and peaches, and saute for 2 minutes. Stir in the sugar and 1 tablespoon of Amaretto, saute for another 2 minutes, and set aside to cool.

In a small bowl mix the ricotta, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest. Set aside.

Line an 8 inch square baking dish with a piece of buttered parchment paper. Layer the bottom with half of the peaches and sprinkle with a third of the chocolate. Spread half of the ricotta mixture over the peaches. Arrange 14 Lady Fingers on top, trimming the ends of the cookies if necessary to fill up any space.

In a bowl, dilute 2 tablespoons of Amaretto with 1 tablespoon of water and brush onto the cookie layer.

Add another layer of peaches, sprinkle with half of the remaining chocolate and the rest of the ricotta mixture. Finish with a layer of remaining Lady Fingers and moisten with the Amaretto. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Tip the cake onto a serving plate, peel off parchment paper, sprinkle with remaining chocolate or and slice the cake into equal parts using a serated knife. Serves 12.

Amaretto Caramel Sauce
Original Topping in recipe

3 Amaretto cookies
2 T rum
4 T pre-made caramel, divided

In a food processor combine the cookies, rum and caramel. Process to the consistency of a smooth sauce. Spoon on the side of each slice of cake.

My peaches were still a little crunchy after sauting them. I think I would cook them a little longer if I made it again. Of course it depends on the ripeness of the fruit too. Lately the peaches and nectarines that I've bought have'nt been all that ripe. I hate it when that happens.

How has the fruit in your area been this summer?
What is the best way to ripen a peach?

6 comments:

Jennifer said...

Looks and sounds delicious!

wheresmymind said...

Looks very delicate!!

mooncrazy said...

The fruit here in So California has been great despite the blistering weather. I've never eaten so many peaches.

I just set my peach out in a bowl and they take about three days from rock to juicy. Doodles says it's because I also have bananas in the bowl as well. She might be right.

Claire said...

Fruit has been pretty good...not the best but good. It is definitely on the down slope now!
To ripen a peach, put it/them in a brown paper bag. This lets the ethylene (coming from the fruit) ripen the fruit. I wouldn't leave it in there too long or it will get too soft. Once they are where you want them, put them in the fridge and they'll keep longer.

Sara said...

Annie, I've tagged you for the Five Foods project from Travellers Lunchbox.

bambola said...

Many years ago I happen to visit Italy with my family,we were invited for dinner to one of my friends the food was delicious but I remember well for dessert they serve slice peaches in wine of course they were made ahead before the dinner.That's another way to eat peaches.bambola