This week on Fee SIMPLE Fridays: an easy recipe that you can whip up to celebrate the Fourth of July and impress your holiday guests with minimal effort! The flavor combination in this is amazing and it’s so fresh! Make sure you get the best berries available (I would hesitate to encourage you to get frozen for this, whereas in other recipes I don’t necessarily think that would make a huge difference). Please try this and let me know what you think! Happy Fourth!!!
Adapted (barely) from Healthy in a Hurry from Williams-Sonoma
1 large orange
1 1/2 cups dry red wine (I recommend Petite Syrah)
1/2 cup plus 2 TBSPs sugar
2 cups worth of mixed berries (I used raspberries, blueberries and blackberries)
1 cup ricotta cheese (you can use either regular or part-skim for a little bit of a healthier option)
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped (or you can use 1/4 tsp vanilla extract)
Drizzle of honey and pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, or granulated honey (you could really use a variety of things here)
1. Zest 1 tsp. worth of the orange with a fine microplane. Try to zest it as thinly as possible. Score another 2-3 thin strips of the zest of the orange and set aside. That is all you will be needing from the orange, so feel free to slice it and serve it alongside of these desserts, it will accompany beautifully.
2. Combine the wine, 1/2 cup sugar, and orange strips into a small saucepan and simmer over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. This should take approximately 3-5 minutes.
3. Bring the mixture to boil then reduce heat and simmer for another 10-15 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by approximately one-third, then remove from heat and allow to cool (you can pour into a bowl and refrigerate to speed up this process…I actually threw it in the freezer to make it an even faster recipe!)
4. Combine the berries and the wine mixture in a bowl and keep aside until ready to use. Discard the orange strips.
5. Meanwhile, add the ricotta, vanilla, orange zest and the remaining 2 TBSP sugar into a food processor and process until completely smooth.
6. To assemble each portion, place a layer of berries and syrup into tumblers, small trifle dishes, or some other glass item so you can see all the layers (I used a small trifle dish, a small tumbler, and a stemless wine glass so you can see how it looks in different containers). Then add a layer of the ricotta mixture and drizzle with a little honey (unless you are topping with granulated honey) then top with a smaller amount of berries (see photos). Drizzle with a little more honey and add a teeny tiny pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg or skip the honey and add a pinch of granulated honey on top! 7. Chill in the refrigerator before serving (10-15 minutes is sufficient!) I tried it right away because I couldn’t help myself and it tasted fine the way it was, but I think it would taste just a little bit better chilled so I threw it in the fridge!
The Verdict: An absolutely perfect way to say Happy Fourth of July! This recipe is easy, delicious and impressive (meaning it looks like it takes far more effort than it actually did!) I highly recommend!
If you are looking for something a bit more complex and perhaps more impressive, check out my instructional video on How to Make an American Flag Cake! CHEERS!