This simple dessert tastes just as delicious as it looks. After brushing with a honey, lemon and ginger syrup, the hollowed-out pears are filled with rum-soaked raisins and ricotta. Low in both fat and calories, this is the perfect way to turn the classic combination of fresh fruit and cheese into something a bit special.
Raisins contain useful amounts of fibre, iron and potassium as well as natural sugar. They are also virtually fat-free. * In herbal medicine, ginger is believed to have special properties that can aid digestion, protect against infections in the respiratory and digestive systems, and also relieve flatulence.
Instead of rum, soak the raisins in orange liqueur or orange juice. * Replace the raisins with other dried fruit such as finely chopped mango, apricots or pineapple. * Make pashka, a ricotta and dried fruit dessert traditionally served at the end of Lent in Russia. Put 115 g (4 oz) chopped, ready-to-eat dried fruits, such as apricots and raisins, in a bowl with the finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon and 1 tsp pure vanilla extract. Stir, then cover and leave to soak for 1 hour. Line a 13 cm (5½ in) clean plastic flowerpot (with draining holes) with a double layer of muslin, allowing the muslin to hang over the sides of the pot. Add 450 g (1 lb) ricotta cheese, 150 ml (5 fl oz) soured cream, 30 g (1 oz) caster sugar, 40 g (1¼ oz) clear honey and 55 g (2 oz) chopped blanched almonds to the soaked fruits. Mix well, then spoon into the flowerpot. Fold over the edges of the muslin, cover with a small saucer that fits inside the flowerpot and place a weight on top. Stand the flowerpot in a bowl and chill overnight. Unfold the muslin, turn the pashka out onto a plate and remove the muslin. Serve with a cherry compote (see our recipe on this site for Little custard pots). This will serve 6–8.
A, C, calcium, copper, potassium, zinc