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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Peach Basket. . .10/24/10

I like to cook. Yeah, I definitely like to cook, but I LOVE to entertain. I love making something for someone else; serving others. I love watching them enjoy it and I know that this is sick and totally twisted, but I also really love cleaning up the mess after it's all over. My husband "affectionately" calls me Monica Gellar.

So, this past Saturday I was exhausted. I mean staring-out-the-window-into-space exhausted yet somehow when my family popped by I mustered up the energy to get to work. After all, when you come from a Latin background it is IMPOSSIBLE to have people over and not feed them so I decided a scrumptious new dessert was apropos.

I went to the grocery store and picked up the necessary ingredients, and note to anyone ever interested in publishing a cookbook: show pictures of the food. When something looks yummy, someone will make it and eat it! Anyway, once back, this busy little bee got busy and made Glazed Peaches in Phyllo Baskets. It was every bit as tasty as the photograph made it appear. So tasty in fact that despite having promised myself I'd try only one bite to know how my cooking fared and would then put the rest aside (so as to not break my diet), I ate the whole thing! Voraciously I might add! If you are interested in trying it out for yourself, the recipe, and my own photographs, are below:

These are the peaches. The recipe does not call for them to be warmed like this along with the apple jelly but I just thought it'd taste better hot. Up to you.

These are the phyllo baskets just out of the over. I used these adorable scalloped ramekins to cook and serve the dessert in but you can also remove them and serve them as a stand along basket.
This is the final product from a few angles and up close.

This delicious pastry is stunning enough to serve at a fancy dinner party yet simple and easy enough to prepare as an every day treat, which is exactly what I did! You can even make the phyllo baskets a few days in advance, store them in an airtight container at room temperature and serve when ready! They taste fantastic alone but I served mine with homemade vanilla ice cream. You could also serve it with whipped cream or even with some powdered sugar. Add a mint leaf for a pretty garnish.

Ingredients:

1/2 whole milk ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons granulated sugar - divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts, toasted and ground
6 sheets phyllo dough (18x24 inch)
1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
Cooking spray
3 cups peeled and chopped ripe peaches
1/2 apple jelly

1. Preheat oven to 35o degrees.
2. Place ricotta, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl, beat with mixer until well blended. Cover and chill.
3. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and hazelnuts. Stack 2 phyllo sheets on a large cutting board or work surface; brush with half of melted butter. Sprinkle phyllo stack with half of hazelnut mixture. Repeat process with 2 phyllo sheets, remaining butter and remaining hazelnut mixture. Top with remaining 2 phyllo sheets and gently press layers together. Coat top phyllo sheet with cooking spray and cut phyllo stack into 6 rectangles. Carefully place 1 layered rectangle into each of 6 ramekins coated with cooking spray. Gently press rectangles into ramekins to form baskets, then place ramekins on baking sheet in the oven.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. Once cooled, carefully remove phyllo baskets from ramekins.
5. Just before serving, spread about 1 tablespoon of cheese mixture into bottom of each phyllo basket. Combine peaches and melted apple jelly and spoon about 1/2 peach mixture into each phyllo basket. Serve immediately.

NUTRITION: 264 calories per phyllo basket (yields 6 servings).

Recipe - Cooking Light.

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