I use soft, ripe, drip-on-your-chin peaches as one of my unofficial counters for the start of summer… lots come by even in Abruzzo, hard as nails in June from Sicily and imported from Spain & Northern Africa. By the time the white ones used to make a Bellini and those gorgeous flat bottomed Saturn lovelies start arriving you know to shy away from giving them a gentle squeeze at market without encountering a withering “look but don’t touch” scowl.
Sformato di Ricotta con le Pesche – (Ricotta with Marinated Peaches)
500g creamy fresh ricotta
Zest of 1 large un-waxed organic lemon and/or orange
4 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
2 -3 tbsp of honey
Combine in a small bowl the above ingredients. Cover and refrigerate.
500g fresh, mature peaches, peeled and sliced
1 small bottle of apricot nectar (undiluted apricot juice)
In a non-metal bowl add the sliced peaches. Add the apricot nectar
Cover and set aside in the refrigerator to chill until ready to serve.
If available lightly oil (vegetable oil) a metal pastry ring or smooth round cookie cutter (7cm/3½”). Place in the centre of a dessert plate. Spoon in the ricotta and lightly press with a spoon. Add more ricotta to fill ring to the top. Press again with a spoon to make compact. Carefully lift the ring making sure the ricotta retains its form.
Spoon the marinated peaches over the top.
Garnish with a nice sprig of mint leaves.
Serves 4 – 6