We’re thrilled to announce that our next release, Volume 16, features everyone’s favorite summer fruit, Peaches! Authored by Beth Lipton, the issue celebrates the summer fruit in brilliant ways, from a peach Bloody Mary riff to an entirely new take on peach pie. Click here to pre-order the edition.
In advance of the publication, we’re excited to share this bonus recipe that we couldn't fit into the final pages of the book. Seasoned peaches paired with ricotta cheese make the ultimate warm-weather snack; try it out for your next summer picnic or dinner party.
Fresh Ricotta-Peach Spread
Serves 4 to 6
Pairing fruit with cheese is common enough—but the fruit is usually grapes, figs, pears or a dried fruit mixture. Adding peaches to a slightly salty homemade ricotta is unexpected, and also serves as a sophisticated twist on the combination of peaches and cream. This dish started out as an appetizer—and it makes a great one, either on its own or as part of a cheese plate. But it also can double as an unusual, not-too-sweet dessert, served either with crackers or shortbread cookies and a nice, crisp dessert wine, such as a dry Riesling. It’s also delicious eaten by the spoonful as you clean up the kitchen, not that I would ever do that…. –Beth Lipton
For the ricotta:
1½ cups whole milk
¾ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
For the peaches:
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
8 ounces peaches (about 2 small)—peeled, pitted and cut into ¼-inch dice
Pinch of kosher salt
3 teaspoons honey
½ teaspoon fresh thyme, for serving
Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, optional
Make the ricotta: Place a fine-mesh sieve over a large, deep bowl. Line the sieve with a double layer of lightly moistened cheesecloth (leave some overhang on all sides). In a saucepan, stir together the milk, cream and salt. Bring to a full boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Remove the mixture from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and let stand for 1 to 2 minutes, until the milk mixture separates (the more solid bits are the curds, the liquid is the whey).
Slowly pour the mixture into the sieve, taking care to make sure it doesn’t overflow. Let stand at room temperature for 25 to 30 minutes, until the whey has drained off and you’re left with a thick, soft cheese. You may need to pour out the whey occasionally to keep it from touching the bottom of the sieve. (You can discard the whey or place it in a container, cover and refrigerate and use it in smoothies and sauces.) The longer you drain the ricotta, the firmer it will be. Transfer the ricotta to a bowl, scraping off as much from the cheesecloth as possible, and cover.
Make the peaches: Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the peaches, salt and 2 teaspoons of honey and cook, stirring, until the peaches are beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in ¼ cup of water and let the mixture reduce until you’re left with about 1 tablespoon of syrupy liquid, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
You can cover and refrigerate the ricotta and peaches separately to serve cold, or serve them right away. To serve, place the ricotta in a serving bowl and top with the peaches and their liquid. Drizzle the remaining teaspoon of oil and honey over the top and sprinkle with thyme. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt flakes and black pepper, if desired. Serve with crackers or toasted baguette slices.