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Chooks, Goats and Ginger Caramel Roasted Pears with Fresh Ricotta

Good morning, luvs! How was your weekend?

After feeling pretty blech with a cold/flu/achy something last week, I perked up on the weekend and had such a good couple of days.

Saturday I got to visit my friends Shirley and Joe at their gorgeous goat farm. I can’t wait to show you pictures of their wildflower-filled creek banks and darling baby goats a bit later this week.You won’t believe the enormous belly on one of the pregnant mama goats!

Yesterday afternoon my friends Ann, Neil, Lizzy and Jess joined bear and me at the farm, and we had a jolly work party getting all sorts of things done.

We built new pens and roosts for the chooks (Aussie word for chickens) and shifted the feathered folk around. They are so happy to be out of their small cages and dashing about in their expansive new digs.

We let the goats out of their pen and gave them free reign of the yards. Tentative at first, they’re now roaming happily as if they owned the joint. Below are William (the Dad) and Felix and Sophie (the two month old twins). They love coming up to get their heads scratched.

Although it’s spring here in Queensland, the weather was quite cool this weekend and put me in the mood for autumnal dishes.

After my grand cheese-making experience last week, I had fresh ricotta on hand that needed something special to go with it. I pondered for a few days and finally settled on roasted pears. With hot ginger caramel sauce. And toasted walnuts.

I love recipes like this. Decadent ones that are so very, very simple to make. This one is especially lovely because the sauce makes itself! Simply combine melted butter with brown sugar and powdered ginger in the bottom of a cake tin. Top with halved and cored pears and roast them at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes. Turn the pears, spoon over some of the sauce and roast for 10-15 minutes more. Then place the pears on a plate, top with a dollop of fresh ricotta, drizzle with the remaining sauce and sprinkle on toasted walnuts. Delicious! I had some for second breakfast this morning and can’t wait to have the rest for dinner tonight.

Ginger Caramel Roasted Pears

Ginger Caramel Roasted Pears

Below you’ll find my friend Ann’s recipe for ricotta cheese. It is so creamy, delicious and easy to make, you may never go back to store-bought ricotta again.

What is your favorite dessert on a cool, cloudy day?

Ginger Caramel Roasted Pears
(Serves two hungry people or four recently fed ones)

Ingredients:

2 Bartlett pears, halved and cored
3 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
2-3 Tbsp chopped toasted nuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In round metal cake tin pour melted butter. Stir in brown sugar and powdered ginger until combined into smooth syrup.
  3. Place pears cut side down over sauce.
  4. Roast in oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove pan from oven, turn pears, baste with sauce and return to oven for another 10-15 minutes.
  6. Place each pear cut side up on plate, top with dollop of fresh ricotta, drizzle with remaining sauce and sprinkle with chopped, toasted nuts.

Ricotta Cheese Recipe
(from Ann Hill)

Ingredients:

5 litres (1.3 gallons) whey
2 cups whole milk
Salt to taste
Approximately 40 mls white vinegar

Directions:

  1. Heat whey to 60 degrees C (140 F) Stir frequently.
  2. Add whole milk.
  3. Add 1/2 -1 tsp of salt if you like.
  4. Continue to heat the milky whey to 90C-(194F) Continue to stir.
  5. At 90 C (194 F) add approximately 40 mls of white vinegar. At the first sign of small specks appearing in the whey, stop adding vinegar.
  6. Let stand on low heat for 5-10 mins to let the ricotta firm up, then, gently scoop off the layer of curd that has risen to the surface into a ricotta mould (or use butter muslin in a colander).
  7. Eat straight away or store in the fridge and use with in a week.

 




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Jarrad at Livin On The Road - My wife made me build a chook pen like that when we lived in our house.Β  Stupid hens hardly ever laid any eggs for us though.

Krista - I feel your pain, Jarrad. πŸ™‚ When I first got here it was just a couple eggs a day – now I can’t use them up fast enough and am handing them out like candy to anyone who comes through my door. πŸ™‚

Joanne - You have no idea what those pears are doing to me.Β  Ricotta.Β  Caramel.Β  Ginger.Β  Could you get any more deliciousness in there?

Krista - I know what you mean, Joanne! When it finally came together in my head, I couldn’t get out to the kitchen fast enough to make it. πŸ™‚ YUM!!!

Cathy - Krista, I love the chooks and goats – just gorgeous. Β I agree with you about simple things – the sauce making itself sounds perfect. Β 

bellini - This makes me want to make my own ricotta cheese even more. Hope you are feeling better Krista!!!

Barbara Williams - Glad you’re feeling better, Krista.
And I LOVE your photos….the one of the chickens is beautiful. This is a lovely dessert too. I’ve made ricotta and agree….it was simpler than I thought it would be and delicious. Love that self-made caramel sauce!

Stevie - Mmmmm, this sounds good!Β 

I love your story about the goats. A few years ago I read a really wonderful book about goats, Goat Song.Β  The writer is form New York City but longed for the country and farming life. So he and his wife moved to rural Vermont, I think, and started a goat farm and learned to make cheese.Β  I’ve reviewed it on my blog under “Goat Songs” if your interested. Though perhaps borrowing it form the library?Β  The book is so romantic and informed.Β  I loved it.Β  Happy Monday!

Anonymous - Oh geez, that is a gorgeous recipe… and it does sound very easy to make! Looks like you’re having a wonderful time in your new home, Krista πŸ™‚

mlleparadis - those horns, those chooks! Β THOSE PEARS! Β 

Mary Bergfeld - The pears look wonderful and were a perfect way to finish a busy weekend with friends. I loved you photos. Have a great evening. Blessings…Mary

Tasteofbeirut - This is an over-the-top dessert that should celebrate something; Oh, just remembered: my daughter finally graduated from high school: yeah! Lovely pics of the little hens.

Krista - Thank you, Cathy! Aren’t they lovely? πŸ™‚ I’m so smitten by them. πŸ™‚

Krista - I sure am, dear Val. πŸ™‚ Just tired now. πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you so much, Barbara! Those chickens are my favorite ones – I think they’re so handsome. πŸ™‚

Krista - I would love to read that book, Stevie! I hope to get my library card this week and will definitely look for it. I will read your review too! πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for the recommendation. πŸ™‚ xo

Krista - Thank you, dear Tuula! πŸ™‚ This recipe was definitely a highlight of my week. πŸ™‚ bear loved it too!

Krista - I’m so glad you like them, Mary. πŸ™‚ They’re just simple farm life but they sure make me happy. πŸ™‚

Krista - LOL! Oh you made me laugh this morning, Paradis! πŸ™‚

Krista - What a perfect thing to celebrate, Joumana!! Hooray for your daughter! πŸ™‚

El - Chickens and goats are so photogenic. Love the dessert too. Looks amazing!

Valerie - I absolutely β™₯ goats! They’re so nonchalant about voicing their complaints & opinions.
Isn’t it wonderful when a sauce makes itself!? πŸ˜€ Your pears look delicious…how healthy and fulfilling all at the same time (not an easy feat).

I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better!

Krista - I think so too, El – that is, when they stand still long enough. πŸ™‚

Krista - They sure are, Valerie! πŸ™‚ They amuse me every day. πŸ™‚

Andrea and John - I’ve been sick too – yuck! Sapped my energy for our last few days in Germany. Love these photos – ricotta looks so yummy!

Alina - Hello Krista,
Home made fresh cheeseΒ  really is the best. This pear dessert looks so delicious and so easy to make, I can’t wait to try it! Lovely photos.
πŸ™‚

Fabdestinbrenna - Thank you so much for your sweet post on my blog ! I have to say that that pear looks ORGASMIC! WOAH! I have to catch up on your blog too, Australia!? Awesome!!!

Duchess - oh my. Talk about simple and elegant. I am allll oooover this!Β 

Krista - So sorry you’ve been sick too, Andrea! I hope you have a chance to rest very soon. πŸ™‚

Krista - I agree completely, Alina! πŸ™‚ I’m so glad you’re going to try this dessert. I hope you love it. πŸ™‚

Krista - Awww, you’re so welcome, Brenna! I’m so happy you’re writing and exploring again. πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you, Duchess! It seemed so elegant to me too. πŸ™‚

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