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Poached Cherries with Ricotta


Cherries have a number of delicious summertime uses, from filling pies and tarts to adding unusual color and flavor to lemonade. In this distinctive dessert, cherries are poached in a hot bath of red wine, which is enhanced with fresh basil, vanilla, and lemon. After the cherries have been poached and then chilled, serve them in a bowl topped with a spoonful of fresh ricotta cheese.

  • Servings: 6

Source: Martha Stewart Living Television


  • 2 1/4 pounds cherries, pitted, room temperature
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 3 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 three-inch strips lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh ricotta cheese


  1. Place cherries in a large, shallow, heat-proof bowl; set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine wine, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, basil, and lemon zest. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Pour hot liquid over cherries. Set aside until mixture is room temperature and cherries are slightly soft, about 1 hour.

  2. Drain cherries, reserving the poaching liquid. Discard basil, vanilla bean, and lemon zest. Return cherries to large bowl. Place reserved poaching liquid in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; continue to boil until liquid has reduced to 1 cup, about 10 minutes. Pour hot liquid over cherries. Chill for a minimum of 1 hour or overnight. Serve in shallow bowls, topped with a spoonful of ricotta.

Reviews Add a comment

  • Sassy Sampler
    7 JUL, 2012
    I made this using Bookwater Winery's Notebook Red Blend and it was delicious - this wine (along with the basil, vanilla, and lemon zest) made the cherries taste like they were soaked in brandy without the heavy alcohol flavor and associated burn. I sampled them to about 60 people and all but one thought they were delicious!