Was there ever a fruit more destined for a love story with ricotta? I always feel more poetic eating pears… like I’m some evocative Italian nude in a painting, swathed in sheets, flirting with the painter and languidly eating the props.
Usual story with this one… we’d just finished shooting a decadent picnic scene out in this glorious sunshine (more details on our NEW series later!) Patrick was yearning for a sweet treat and I was longing to fill the house with the scent of cloves and vanilla. If you have only a little leftover Philadelphia or ricotta (which I did after making ravioli last week) this is a good way to fulfill your cheesecake fantasies without actually needing the usual 600g of cream cheese.
Trust me, this is so quick, easy and baking-disaster proof.
1 sheet puff pastry
200g ricotta or cream cheese
1/4 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon cinnamon (and ground cloves if you’re a spice freak like me)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
How It All Comes Together to Make You Smile:
1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees and let your pastry thaw out.
2. Slice pears thinly and then pop them in a small pot or pan on the stove with the butter and brown sugar and spices, creating a caramelized heaven only the gods could conjure.
2. Now for the filling. I like to use a mix of ricotta and cream cheese but either will do. In a bowl mix cheese with one beaten egg, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar.
3. We are practically DONE! How easy was that? Lay your pastry into a greased loaf tin, pour in the cheesecake mixture and then spoon over the caramelized pears. Pop in the oven for 30-40 mins but be sure to cover the tin with foil towards the end so the top remains golden and doesn’t burn. If your pastry is thick or your loaf tin is quite deep and you’re worried about undercooked pastry you can pop it in the over for 5 minutes before adding filling. In this case you’ll need to line the inside with baking paper and pour rice or dry chickpeas in to help retain the shape, otherwise the pastry will puff all over the place.
Now lie somewhere decadent in the sunshine and indulge…