Cream-free ricotta and yoghurt panacotta

The brief: to use up an enormous jar of Bonne Maman Cherry Compote that I’d opened, eaten a bit once for breakfast and then it became the weekdays when I eat breakfast at work and therefore I had to use it up before it went off because chances were I wasn’t going to be eating it for breakfast anytime soon.

Was it going to be a cherry and apple pie? Well, no it wasn’t. In Belsize Park on a Sunday it does not seem that one can buy fresh local apples. Nor did it appear that one could buy tinned apples. Anywhere. Peaches, pears, mandarins, grapefruit, lychees, no problem. Apples, yes problem.

Plan B was ricotta – I categorically didn’t want to put cream in it so I bought ricotta and gelatine and hoped I’d be able to improvise a recipe. Basing my recipe on a Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall one, and a Nigel Slater one I managed to work out a plan.

It set in our only bowl we currently have – a big one – no ramekins here. Edith had two big scoops for breakfast and one for dinner.

Recipe for Cherry Ricotta Breakfast Panacotta

200ml milk
200g yoghurt
250g ricotta
1 sachet gelatine (enough to set 1 pint of liquid)
1/2 jar (250g) Bonne Maman Cherry Compote
4tbsp icing sugar
1tsp vanilla essence

Gently heat the milk but do not boil. Add gelatine to hot milk and stir the gelatine in well with a whisk or wooden fork. Once the gelatine has dissolved whisk in the icing sugar until smooth. Keeping a very low heat stir in the yoghurt, ricotta and vanilla essence. Stir for a minute or two until smooth.

Remove from heat and add the cherries. If you wanted a smooth panacotta you could blend the cherries first and also strain the mixture (I didn’t as we don’t have a seive right now and the kids were asleep so I didn’t want to use the food processor either).

Pour into ramekins or jelly moulds – or, do as I did and pour it all into a bowl, cover with cling film and leave overnight in the fridge to set.

This would probably also be amazing frozen.

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