Breakfast Ricotta with Berries & Maple Syrup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons sliced blanched almonds
- 1/8 teaspoon fleur de sel
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 cups Fresh Homemade Ricotta, recipe follows, or good fresh ricotta
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 pint mixed berries, such as raspberries, blueberries and strawberries
- Toasted brioche or challah, for serving
- Fresh Homemade Ricotta:
- 4 cups (1 quart) whole milk
- 2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons good white wine vinegar
Melt the butter in a small saute pan over medium heat. Stir in the almonds and saute, tossing frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes, until the almonds are a golden brown. Sprinkle with the fleur de sel, add the maple syrup and keep warm.
Meanwhile, combine the ricotta, honey and vanilla and divide it among breakfast plates. Surround the ricotta with the berries and spoon the almond and maple syrup mixture over the ricotta. Place a slice of toasted brioche on each plate and serve warm.Fresh Homemade Ricotta:
Set a medium-meshed sieve over a deep bowl. Line the sieve with two double layers of cheesecloth and dampen the cheesecloth.
Pour the milk and cream into a large stainless steel or enameled pot such as Le Creuset and stir in the salt. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally (a full rolling boil means that the bubbles have expanded in the pot). Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar. Allow the mixture to stand for one minute until it curdles.
Pour the mixture into the cheesecloth-lined sieve and allow it to drain into the bowl, discarding the liquid as it collects in the bowl. Allow it to drain at room temperature for 20 to 25 minutes. The longer you let the mixture drain, the thicker it will be. Transfer the ricotta to another bowl, discarding the cheesecloth and any remaining liquid. Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Yield: about 2 cups