Cherry and Amaretti Parfaits


The familiarity of cherry cheesecake is reimagined in this surprisingly simple dessert. In each parfait, a quick, creamy ricotta filling is layered over sweetened poached cherries and topped with crumbled almond cookies from the market.


  • 6 ounces (1 cup) dried cherries

  • 1 cup water

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt

  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • ¾ cup part-skim ricotta

  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • ¼ cup confectioners' sugar

  • 8 amaretti cookies, coarsely crumbled


  1. Combine cherries, water, granulated sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Let cool.

  2. Meanwhile, blend cream cheese, ricotta, vanilla, confectioners' sugar, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt in a food processor until smooth. Divide cherries among 4 glasses, then top each with ricotta mixture. Sprinkle tops with crumbled amaretti cookies, and serve immediately.

Cook's Notes

The ricotta filling can be mixed by hand, but for the smoothest results, use a food processor.

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