This time of year we all have more than one occasion where we eat a bit more than usual. Christmas is one of those events, and if you’re trying to watch what you eat then you may dread the thought of a sweet, rich, creamy pudding on the menu. Luckily, this doesn’t have to be the case this Christmas, and there are so many other options to choose from. Seasonal fruit, for example, as the base of a pudding is a fabulous option.
This is a delicious dessert, and most people who have tasted it can’t believe how flavourful such a basic combination of ingredients can be. Peaches aren’t only a perfect summer snack, but also great to use in a dessert. They’re low in fat, cholesterol and sodium, and packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Like most other fruit, the natural fibre aids digestion, and combined with the spices, it’s full of goodness. Ricotta is a versatile, low-fat cheese and gives the sense of a creamy ingredient, but is much lower in fat. The nuts give some crunch to the dessert and add to the good fats. So go ahead and enjoy a portion of this guilt free festive dessert.
Pan-Fried Ricotta Peaches
So many delicious fruits are available at this time of year so make them part of your summer desserts this festive season.
- 50 g flaked almonds
- 6-8 firm, ripe cling peaches, halved and pitted
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) butter
- 60 ml (¼ cup) honey
- 7.5 ml (½ tablespoons) ground mixed spice or cinnamon
- 50 ml orange juice
- 250 g ricotta cheese
- Edible flowers to garnish (optional)
- Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and dry fry almonds until lightly toasted. Spoon out and set aside.
- In the same pan, fry peaches, cut side down until light golden brown and toasted. If you are worried that they may stick, fry in a small amount of the butter.
- Reduce the heat and add remaining butter, honey, mixed spice and orange juice. Mix well and spoon over peaches.
- Allow to simmer with a lid for 2-3 minutes or until the peaches are softened slightly and heated through.
- Spoon out and place spoonfuls of ricotta in each peach half. Drizzle with pan juices, sprinkle with almonds and serve immediately. Garnish with edible flowers, if preferred.
You can substitute peaches with nectarines if you prefer, just make sure you choose ripe but firm fruit.
Serves 6 – 8
(Recipe: Food Consultant, Heleen Meyer)