While I try hard not to pick favourites when it comes to cheese, I must
admit I’ve always had a soft spot when it comes to cheeses that are warmed in the oven. There is something so tantalizing about cheese that is heated all the way through, spewing both bubbles and puddles of liquid as if it were a volcano erupting its lava.
I believe ricotta does not receive enough of the credit that it so rightfully deserves. I remember the first time I was offered ricotta. I scrunched up my nose and refused to eat it because I had assumed it was cottage cheese because of its thick and chunky texture. Not realizing, at the time, that it was one of the cheeses used inside manicotti—that I would gulp down without even pausing to take a breath.
This past summer, at camp, my mom served me a midafternoon snack of warmed ricotta that she had topped with cinnamon. After the first bite I found myself a little uncertain. The cheese felt like a cloud on my tongue. But I found that some bites were lacking a distant flavour reminding me of tofu, while others I could only taste the tangy, sweet yet dusty flavour of cinnamon. As I kept shoveling it in my mouth I couldn’t help but think of the endless possibilities warm ricotta had especially because of its ability to adopt whatever flavour it is combined with.
Four months later and I have finally created a recipe that is the apple of my eye. I already forsee this will being my go-to dish to bring to potlucks this winter. I love the versatility of this dish as it can be served and devoured on its own, or it can be added as a topping to French toast, bread, or crackers.
You ricotta try out this recipe. I promise it will make your taste buds sing hallelujah this holiday season!
Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 42 minutes
1 ½ cups ricotta cheese
2 individual packets apple cider drink mix
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 ½ cups chopped Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Set oven to 300°F.
- Next add the two eggs and whisk the whole mixture together.
- In a medium sized bowl whisk together ricotta cheese and apple cider powder. After they have been combined whisk in brown sugar and honey.
- Grease your oven safe bowl or dish with coconut oil. Be sure to grease up the edges as well as the bottom of the dish.
- Pour your ricotta mixture into your greased bowl/dish.Directions:1. When your oven has reached 300°F place your dish into the oven. Set a timer for 25 minutes.2. Now that your dish is in the oven you are going to start making the topping. Melt butter over medium heat on a medium sized frying pan.
3. Once your butter is melted (2 minutes or less after you’ve added it), place your chopped apples onto your frying pan. Be sure to do this slowly as you do not want hot butter to splattering at you. Immediately add brown sugar to this apple & butter mixture. Periodically stir this mixture with your spatula. Turn heat to low.
- When your timer goes off at 25 minutes your apple topping should be ready. They should be soft and browned. Turn burner off and over.
- Next pull out your ricotta mixture. With oven mitts on, shake your dish gently to the left and right.
If it is runny stick it back in the oven for another 5 minutes or until it is no longer runny. Also if the edges are browned cover your dish with aluminum foil and then place back in the oven.
If it is slightly browned at the edges and not runny pull it out of the oven.
- Once your soufflé is slightly brown on top and is no longer runny, remove it from the oven. Turn off the oven and the element you were using to brown your apples. Use a spoon to delicately place your apple mixture on top of your baked ricotta mixture.
- Let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve on its own.
- Serve on top of a baguette.
- Serve with crackers or bread to scoop it up with.
- Serve it on top of French toast. Follow the Simple French Toast Recipe that can be found on the blog Pinch My Salt.
If you are looking for a wine to pair with this dish I suggest Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio.