Lovers of strawberry shortcake and fruit-and-yogurt parfaits, here is the berry-laden love child of the two—plus wine, natch—you’ve been seeking. A lighter riff on macerated berries with whipped cream, it’s just the thing to serve after a hearty supper of red meat or chicken, and its minimalist approach will leave you feeling light on your feet. Think of it as a more grown-up twist on berries and cream, thanks to a red wine-based syrup flecked with citrus zest and just a half cup of sugar.
Do the advance work for this recipe ahead of time; you can simmer the red wine with zest and sugar (and make your whole home smell amazing) in advance. On party day, simply heat it gently, pour it over the freshest berries you can get your paws on, and dollop Grand Marnier-spiked ricotta on top of the whole thing. You heard that right: Grand. Marnier. Ricotta. As if the booze wasn’t enough, it’s also spiked with vanilla. The combination is so dreamy you’ll find yourself spooning it on to biscuits, scones, and bread, too.
What to serve the dessert alongside? More red wine, of course. It’s the perfect casual, easy combo to wrap a dinner party on a high note and leave everyone pleased as punch.
Wine-Spiked Berries with Ricotta
1 large orange
1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) dry red wine
1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) plus 2 Tbs. sugar
2 cups (8 oz./250 g) mixed raspberries, blueberries, and/or blackberries
1 cup (8 oz./250 g) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 Tbs. Grand Marnier liqueur
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Using a sharp paring knife, cut two 2- to 3-inch (5- to 7.5-cm) strips of zest from the orange. Using the fine rasps of a handheld grater or a microplane grater, remove 1 tsp. finely grated zest from another section of the orange. Set both zests aside, saving the orange for another use.
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the wine, 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) sugar and zest strips and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the liquid is reduced by about one-third, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Put the berries in a bowl. Remove the zest strips from the syrup and pour over the berries.
In a food processor, combine the ricotta, liqueur, vanilla, grated orange zest and 2 Tbs. sugar and process until smooth. Spoon berries with some syrup into glasses or small bowls and top with a dollop of ricotta mixture. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Find more great recipes for nourishing fare you can prepare in a flash in our book
Healthy in a Hurry, by Karen Ansel, MS, RD, and Charity Ferreira.