This is one of the best summer desserts we know of, and it couldn’t be simpler. A spoonful of the roasted fruit, slightly caramelized, is like eating a cobbler without the crust. Ricotta drizzled with honey is a subtle and sublime addition, adding a lush creaminess to the dish.
Oven-Roasted Summer Fruits with Ricotta-Vanilla Cream
1 cup (8 oz./250 g.) fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese
1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g.) creme fraiche
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 Tbs. (3 oz./90 g.) sugar
8 fresh figs
About 1/2 lb. (250 g.) cherries (optional)
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
Honey for serving
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C). In a bowl, combine the cheese, creme fraiche, vanilla and 2 tablespoons of the sugar and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Halve the peaches, nectarines and plums and remove the pits. Cut the halves in half again, if desired. Trim off the hard tip of each fig stem and leave the figs whole. Leave the cherries whole, if using. Combine all the fruits in a roasting pan large enough to fit them in a single layer, drizzle with the olive oil, and turn the fruits several times. Sprinkle with the remaining 4 tablespoons (2 oz./60 g.) sugar and turn once or twice.
Roast until the fruits are slightly collapsed and golden or lightly charred, 15-20 minutes.
To serve, spoon the fruits and their cooking juices into a serving bowl or individual dessert bowls. (If you like, halve or quarter the figs lengthwise. If you have used the cherries, let your guests know the pits are intact.) Divide the ricotta mixture among small bowls and swirl a little honey into each serving. Place the ricotta alongside the fruit and serve at once. Serves 6-8.
Recipe from Williams-Sonoma Cheese, by Georgeanne Brennan.