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.
- 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
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.
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.