BLUEBERRY RICOTTA BASKETS

Puff pastry snared me again. What's nice (lovely actually) is the consistent quality of flaky, buttery texture and the ideal amount of puff- no matter the filling or shape. I stock the stuff in my freezer and pull it out on the regular. Could I make my own puff pastry? Of course. Am I that patient? Not at all. So I will never be ashamed of buying it.


Creamy, blueberry-spiked ricotta gets topped with berries and baked in the pastry. Then, since I tend to be extra, I added fresh berries on top. The deeply sweet baked berries--still warm--along with cool, tart, firm ones is terrific.


The 'baskets' came together in under 20 minutes, including bake time. I'll call that win and use my extra time wisely--sipping more hot coffee and using my finger to languidly pick up the buttery shrapnel of devoured pastry scattered over my plate.


In lieu of blueberry syrup, use jam.

Notes: Ricotta cheese is part-skim.


BLUEBERRY RICOTTA BASKETS

Ingredients: 1 sheet thawed puff pastry, 2 tbsp. blueberry syrup, 1/3 cup ricotta cheese, 1 tsp. lemon zest, 1 cup blueberries, 1 beaten egg, 1 tbsp. brown sugar, powdered sugar for dusting (optional).

Makes 9 baskets.


1. Preheat oven to 400* and line an baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Using a rolling pin, roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle. Cut into 9 squares.

3. Stir blueberry syrup into ricotta cheese with lemon zest. Spoon 2 teaspoons of blueberry ricotta into the center of one of the squares. Add three blueberries. Bring up each corner, twisting once to meet in the center. Follow with the rest of the squares.

4. Brush each basket with beaten egg, then sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and puffed. Remove to cool slightly. Add a few fresh blueberries into the center of each basket. Dust with powdered sugar, if you like.


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