Mixed fruit with Riccotta cheese

Mixed fruit with Riccotta and Cream, originally uploaded by Sam Felder. Please note that this is not my picture.  When I make this, I try and put equal parts fruit and cheese mixture. 

It is always interesting when I move to a new country to figure out what ingredients are available locally and how I can adapt my tried-and-true recipes to the local market. Here in Albania, I have access to wonderful Italian cheeses and good local fruit (changing with the season). Our new favorite dessert is Crema di Ricotta alla Frutta Fresca or basically ricotta cheese with whatever fruit I can get my hands on.

This recipe is loosely based off of something on the Williams Sonoma Website. My husband loves this desert because it is not too sweet. I love this dessert because my daughter will eat it and it is very healthy. I love this because no matter what is available, it makes the fruit even tastier.

Ingredients:
•2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese (if you can get fresh, this is best—however, the recipe will also work with ricotta that is so old you don’t want to use it for anything else because it was forgotten in the back of the fridge)
•1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
•1.5 tsp. vanilla extract
•Pinch of ground cinnamon
•3-4 cups of fresh fruit cut up (a little lemon juice or orange juice will keep fruit looking good)

Directions:
In a bowl, using a fork, beat the ricotta cheese until smooth and creamy. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and cinnamon until blended.

In a small bowl, combine fruit. Using 1 or 2 spoons, toss well, being careful not to bruise the fruit.

Spoon the fruits into goblets or other attractive serving vessels. Top each serving with an equal amount of the ricotta mixture (note the ratio should be 1:1 not like the photo). Serve immediately. If you have extra, combine put cheese and fruit in fridge separately. Combine when ready to eat.

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