Cranberry Compote Layered with Lemon Ricotta

Photo: Alastair Hendy

These easy-to-assemble parfaits are a welcome ending to any fall meal. Spruced up with a citrus tang, cranberry sauce is layered between ethereally light layers of sweetened ricotta in see-through tumblers.


  • 2 lemons

  • 1 navel orange

  • 6 ⅔ cups (24 ounces) fresh cranberries

  • 1 ½ cups plus 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 2 pounds fresh ricotta cheese


  1. Grate zest from lemons. Cut 1 lemon in half, and squeeze juice from 1 half into a saucepan, reserving remaining 1 1/2 lemons for another use. Peel orange, and cut in half. Add peel to pan, and squeeze in juice from half the orange, reserving remaining half for another use. Add cranberries and 1 1/2 cups sugar, and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Cook until cranberries are soft and begin to burst, about 15 minutes. Let cool, and then refrigerate for 1 hour (or up to overnight).

  2. Combine ricotta with remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and the lemon zest.

  3. Remove orange peel from compote, and discard. Set aside a few cranberries for garnish. Layer each of 6 serving cups with 1/4 cup lemon ricotta, 1/4 cup compote, and then 1/4 cup lemon ricotta. Garnish with reserved cranberries.

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