The previous week I got the nicest surprise from Quinta de Jugais in the mailbox. They had just sent a selection with four of their delicious jams made with fruit that comes directly from Serra da Estrela. When I opened that box I knew I had to try something with that pear and port wine jam, and I did so. A big thanks to them for this gift box.
One of my favourite pairings in Italian pastry is pear and ricotta, so that was my inspiration for this go-to, no fuss ricotta and pear jam mousse. This is the perfect kind of dessert if you are hosting a party or dinner at your place and you want to impress with minimal effort. It might look like you have slaved for some time in the kitchen, but the truth is that it couldn’t get any easier. Plus, the following recipe makes the most out of the natural sweetness of the jam, sugar was only added in the form of almond praline topping.
RICOTTA AND PEAR JAM MOUSSE WITH ALMOND PRALINE
(serves about 5 to 6 portions)
- 350g of sheep ricotta (good sheep ricotta, not cheap ricotta)
- 200g of heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons of pear and port wine jam from Quinta dos Jugais
- 2 gelatin sheets
- 1 tablespoon of water
- 5 tablespoons of caster sugar
- 2 handful of toasted almonds
Whip the ricotta until it is smooth, then add the heavy cream and whip until the mixture reaches a stiff consistency. Fold in the mixture 4 heaped tablespoons of Quinta dos Jugais pear and port wine jam. Put the gelatin sheets in cold water until they are softened and then dilute them in a small quantity of hot water. This time fold in the gelatin mix (make sure you do it well to avoid a lumpy mousse) and let the mousse sit in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours. Switch the oven on to 180ºC, toast the almonds with skins and once they are ready just let them cool at room temperature (remove them from the hot baking trey if you want to avoid that they get even more brown). In a non-stick pan, add the 5 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of water let it caramelize in medium heat moving the pan around to avoid the caramel to cook unevenly and to get burnt. Once the caramel reached a gold brown colour just mix in the toasted almonds and pour the praline in cold surface covered with a baking sheet to let it cool. Once the praline is ready cut in pieces and with the help of a pestle and mortar just reduce it to small pieces. Serve the pear and ricotta mousse with layers of the praline topping on a nice and funky glass.