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    Pineapple with orange and Lemon Ricotta

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    Pineapple with orange and Lemon Ricotta

    In the depths of winter, fresh pineapple is a breath of salvation. I love our own home-grown apples, but once in a while I yearn for something juicier and more exotic. Pineapple it is: divine all on its own, but good to dress up when the mood takes you. This is a simple embellishment, sandwiching slices of fruit together with scented, sweetened Ricotta. Standard Ricotta is fine, but the buffalo milk version, if available, tastes richer and creamier. Prepare the Ricotta and pineapple in advance, but keep them separate until the last minute. There is a strange enzyme in pineapple that, when left to work on any soft dairy product, produces a less than charming bitterness.

    • Preparation time: 30 minutes
    • Total time: 30 minutes 30 minutes

    Serves: 4

    Ingredients

    • 250g Ricotta cheese (preferably buffalo Ricotta)
    • Finely grated zest of ½ orange
    • Finely grated zest of ½ lemon and a squeeze or two of lemon juice
    • 2 tbsp icing sugar
    • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 medium pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced into thin rings

    Method

    1. Beat the Ricotta with the orange and lemon zests, the lemon juice, sugar and the vanilla extract. Pick out the 8 most handsome pineapple rings and chop the remainder. Set aside until needed.
    2. Just before serving, stir the chopped pineapple into the Ricotta. Lay a ring of pineapple on each of four plates. Divide the Ricotta mixture between them, then top with the remaining four rings of pineapple, tilting them at a jaunty angle. Scatter with more zest if you like and serve swiftly.

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    Drinks recommendation

    Many dessert wines exhibit pineapple tones, but the wine here needs to be unctuous and mouth-filling to match the juiciness of the dish.

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    5 stars