Hardly a week goes by that I don’t email my stepmom, Annie*, for a recipe. She’s the equivalent of having all the great cookbooks of the world plus culinary training plus just a regular old dose of genius in one person who is really good at answering emails. In other words, awesome.
I recently begged dessert ideas for a baby shower from her and then proceeded to pick her brain about what kind of filling I should put in a layer cake. To wit:
Blueberries! Blueberries, she says! And hopefully the cake will be a rousing success. We’ll see about that one tomorrow, but today let’s talk about this really delicious and easy dessert she passed along to me:
- sliced fresh peaches (or you can caramelize them for a few minutes in some bourbon)
- a dollop of ricotta*
- a drizzle of honey
- some pistachios
- a teensy tinsy pinch of maldon salt
Find a glass carafe that can suitably show off the layers and insist that your fellow diners ooh and ahh sufficiently before you allow them a spoon. Because as soon as they have a spoon in front of them, the dessert will no longer be.
Be prepared to make seconds.
And don’t feel bad about it.
* What do you call the woman your father was married to for the majority of your life but is no longer? After several years of having no idea what to call anyone, I have settled on what was probably the most obvious answer from day one: The woman who was my stepmom for 25 years of my life - who read me Anne of Green Gables and put band-aids on my skinned knees and let me mix the meatloaf and taught me all about food and crafts and other wonderful things - is my stepmom. That’s her role in my life. So, I figure it this way. There’s my dad’s wife, who is not my stepmom, and then there’s my stepmom, who is not my dad’s wife. It actually uncomplicates things, I swear.
** By ricotta, I DO NOT MEAN THAT WHITE STUFF YOU CAN FIND IN THE DAIRY SECTION MADE BY POLLY-O. This is not ricotta. It’s false advertising. I don’t know what it is, but it’s definitely not ricotta. Go to the fancy-cheese section of your store and pick up the wet-looking, lumpy fresh ricotta and dare yourself not to just drizzle some olive oil and salt on top and eat it all with a spoon before making this dish. I make it from scratch pretty regularly, and it’s best that way, but you can get super delicious stuff from the store, too. Anyone in NYC has easy access to fresh ricotta, as does anyone with a Whole Foods, Publix, or big Harris Teeter nearby. Go, buy the fresh stuff. You’ll spend the rest of your life wondering what the hell is in that Polly-O container after all. But don’t worry, we’re in it together.