Ricotta Mousse with Salted Caramel Sauce

Makes 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. (8 oz.) whole milk Ricotta Cheese
  • 3/4 c. (6 oz.) heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. unflavored gelatin
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cold water
  • 1/3 c. candied citron, diced
  • 1/3 c. farro*, cooked and cooled
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • Pinch of sea salt

Caramel:

  • 1 cup (7 oz.) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 c. hot water
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt

Instructions:

Make the mousse:

Spoon Ricotta into food processor bowl; process until smooth. Set aside. Soften gelatin in 1 1/2 teaspoons cold water in small bowl; set aside. With electric mixer, beat heavy cream and vanilla until soft peaks form; refrigerate until ready to use. Toss candied citron, farro, lemon zest and spices in small bowl; set aside.

Whisk egg, egg yolks and 2 tablespoons sugar in top of a double boiler or bowl set over a saucepan containing 1 inch simmering water. Whisk until eggs are fluffy and warm and the whisk "leaves a trail," about 3 minutes. Remove insert or bowl from heat; whisk in softened gelatin, stirring until dissolved. Whisk in Ricotta Cheese. Place insert or bowl in large bowl filled with ice water; whisk until mousse is cold and beginning to set, about 2 minutes. Fold in the whipped cream, turning occasionally, until the mousse sets enough to hold the farro mixture aloft, about 5 minutes. Fold in farro mixture. Spoon into shallow container or 6 glasses. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Make the caramel:

Pour 1 cup sugar in heavy 2-quart saucepan. Set over low heat. Cook without stirring until sugar pools amber on the edges of the saucepan, 5 to 7 minutes. Maintaining low heat, stir caramelized sugar with wooden spoon until sugar is completely melted and caramel is a rich warm amber throughout. Remove pan from heat. Add half the hot water; stir to incorporate. Add remaining water and stir. Add salt. Transfer caramel to heat-proof glass measuring cup (there should be 2/3 cup); cool to room temperature. When cool, the caramel should be viscous but still liquid. If too thick, thin with a few drops of water.

Drizzle scant 2 tablespoons caramel onto center of 6 dessert plates. Using a hot spoon, scoop 2 quenelles (rounded spoonfuls) of mousse onto each plate. Sprinkle with pistachios. For glasses, drizzle caramel over each portion and sprinkle with pistachios.

*Farro is an ancient Italian grain and sometimes used similarly to rice.

Photo & recipe courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.