Update: Found the link to the honey grower’s website (Italian).
This past weekend was just a preview of the hot summer my mind temporarily forgot occurs every year. Summer in Milan isn’t great, in fact, unless you have a cool haven (preferrably with air conditioning), it can be a bit unbearable. Most of the city empties out at August. In a city like Rome, this is nice because many things stay open because of the tourists and there’s less traffic, but in Milan, most of the city shuts down because tourists are not the primary concern here, and it feels quite deserted. But it becomes a bit of your own private Milano if you are self-sustaining (and have access to a supermarket).
So with the heat returning and my bed cover folded and put away for a few months, I need a cooler treat…and it’s time for Sugar High Friday #31 – Neutral Territory, shades of white! Though I recently made Fresh Strawberry Semifreddo, I wanted to revisit creamy.
I thought….pears, and ricotta. With a twist. Why not throw some honey in there, too, to sweeten things up?
I recently stumbled on a shop of Bee Keepers / Honey Harvesters group called Gruppo Apicoltori Riuniti (site in Italian) and their shop is a gold mine of honey and pollen-based products (no website). Though it was tiny, I didn’t have enough time (or money) to really delve deep into their shelves. I bought a few small jars of different types of honey (single-origin from orange flowers, eucalyptus, cherry, acacia) and some honey-lemon drops that reminded me of the ones my grandfather used to crunch. I can’t wait to go back there!
Baked Honey Pears with Ricotta Cream
2 T. honey
2 t. sugar
4-5 T. whipping cream
Whip the whipping cream with the sugar first, and mix in the honey and ricotta. I chose to get a smooth cream so I mixed it well. Taste often and well to adjust for your own preferences. Depending on the freshness of the ricotta, you can decide how much you want it to take the front seat to flavor, adding less or more honey. Set to chill in refrigerator for an hour.
Slice the pears in half and core them. Place them cut side up in a baking pan. At this point, you can add butter and/honey and/or cinnamon to the pears. I drizzled on some honey and sprinkled some cinnammon with a sliver of butter. Cook at 375F/190C for 30-45 minutes, or until pears are tender. Take out and let cool. Slice the pear half into slices and pair it with the chilled ricotta cream. Drizzle additional honey if desired.
In keeping with the summer theme and keeping cool, you could serve the Ricotta Cream with fresh pears and I think it tastes just as good as with the baked pears. In fact, I know, since I was experimenting!! Ah, cool summer!
Gruppo Apicoltori Riuniti http://www.garmiele.com/home/
P.LE LAGOSTA 2 – MILANO – Tel 02 66804273