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Strawberries with ricotta cream

For me, desserts are about seasonal fruit and light. I generally try to end dinners with a healthy fruit dessert rather than a heavy cake or other dessert. here is a variation that I love.

This is a dessert that calls for the best of-season strawberries, bright, sweet-tart and glorious in their bright red colour. They are paired with a rich, decadent ricotta cream. Finally, the roasted pistachios add a nutty nuance and the scent of cardamom adds notes of spice to the dessert. Do not be fooled by the simplicity of this dessert, it is spectacular.

George Mandez is the chef and owner of the Michellin-starred restaurant Aldea in New York. This cookbook is a collection of 125 of his best recipes and spans both traditional and contemporary dishes from Portugal. The dishes span from simple recipes to complex ones with very traditional ingredients. The dishes always turn out spectacular, true to tradition and delicious. This is a lovely cookbook for those who want to delve into the favours of a nation that has spectacular food.

For more recipes from this cookbook click here.


2 egg yolks

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup cream

3/4-1 teaspoon green cardamom powder

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

Pistachio nuts, lightly roasted

2 pints strawberries, hulled

Mix the egg yolks and sugar well till they form a thick paste. Set aside.

Bring the cream to barely a simmer. Add the cardamom and slowly add the egg yolk mix in a light stream. Continually mix the cream with a whisk to incorporate the egg into the mix. Stir for 3 minutes on low heat till you have a thick custard.

Add the ricotta cheese and integrate into the custard completely. You want to make sure all the lumps have been smoothed out.

Take off the heat and set aside. you can store this custard in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Optional: Toss the strawberries with 1 tablespoon of sugar and a small splash of water. Cook for 1 minute till the strawberries are glazed. I like to keep the strawberries fresh, so generally ignore this step.

To serve, if the cream has thickened too much, dilute with some milk till you have a light creamy texture. Add a dollop to the centre of a plate and spread it out in concentric circles. Top with 6-7 strawberries. Garnish with 6-7 pistachio nuts per plate. Serve immediately.

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