This is the latest stage in the Sunday Slow Bakers' exploration of Dolce Italiano by Gina De Palma. Krista came up with the notion that it might be interesting to get a group of folks together to bake and blog each week. This week's recipe was selected by Amy who though that it would be a good selection for when the local strawberries hit the market and the temperatures rose to the point that turing on the oven was painful!
We loved this recipe. In fact, it might be one of our favourite from the book to date. It is easy to make - no fuss, little mess, and the reward is in the taste. I actually caught Paul licking out his bowl when he thought I wasn't watching! We played a bit - I had some pink peppercorns in the pantry and used those instead of black peppercorns they aren't as strong but still managed to impart a nice peppery warmth. This is a sophisticated dish to serve on a summer's night to friends you adore.
Strawberries in Chianta with Black Pepper Ricotta Cream
(fragole al vino con ricotta e pepe)
Makes 6 servings
2 pints ripe, fragrant strawberries(about 1 pound)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup Chianti Classico
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cups fresh whole-milk ricotta
2 teaspoons black peppercorns, cracked
About 2 hours before serving the dessert, lightly rinse the strawberries if they are sandy and place them in a single layer on a clean dish towel to dry. Remove the hulls, then cut the berries in quarters or in half lengthwise, according to size, and place them in a large bowl. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over the berries and toss them to distribute. Pour the Chianti Classico over them. Using a large spoon, gently turn the berries to coat them wtih the wine. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill, giving them a gentle toss every so often.
Place the heavy cream and the remaining 6 tablespoons sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and use the whisk attachment on medium speed to beat the cream until soft peaks form. Add the ricotta and black pepper and briefly beat until the mixture is combined and makes firm peaks.
To serve, place a generous spoonful of the ricotta cream in each of six dessert glasses and spoon some of the berries and their juices alongside and over the top.
You can check out what the other slow bakers have come up with at their blogs (although I do believe some are travelling this week):