…honey, roasted peach with rosemary and pistachios

This is my version of Kanafah using filo pastry, a popular dessert eaten throughout many countries in the Middle East, particularly Palestine, Turkey and Egypt. It is a sweet based around thin, crispy pastry, fresh cheese and doused in syrup. It reminded me of eating a ricotta pastizz dunked in sugar. I have toned down the sweetness and used peaches and good quality honey to bring that element to the dish. Rosemary and orange blossom water give it its floral quality and the filo pastry and pistachios a lovely crunch.

Serves 6

Prep time 30 mins + 4 hrs chilling


For the ricotta panacotta:

275g Maltese ricotta cheese
220ml whole milk
220ml double cream
70g granulated sugar
3 sheets gelatine

For the rest:

6 ripe peaches
2 sprigs rosemary
6 drops orange blossom water
6 tbsp. good quality honey
10 sheets Filo pastry
220g melted butter
Approx. 200g ground almonds
100g roughly chopped pistachios


For the ricotta panacotta:

Blend the ricotta and milk together with a hand held blender until smooth and lump free. Pour the sugar and cream into a pan and set on a moderate heat allowing it to come up to just boiling and then turn off and remove from the stove. Soak the gelatine leaves in water and after they have bloomed remove from water, squeeze and whisk into the cream mixture. Pour the cream mixture into the ricotta and milk mix and stir until it is properly incorporated. Strain through a sieve and divide between 6 foil ramekins. Place in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours.

For the rest:

Heat the oven to 180 C. Spread a glass Pyrex dish with a little of the butter and half and remove the stone from the peaches. Scatter the sprigs of rosemary over the bottom of the dish along with the orange blossom water and place the peaches cut side down. Bake in the oven until soft and bubbling and forming syrup. Remove and allow to cool a little.
In the meantime, layer sheets of filo pastry on a non-stick baking sheet by brushing each one with butter and sprinkling each one with the ground almonds. Continue for 6 layers and be liberal with the butter on the top layer. Repeat twice. Bake in the oven until golden and then remove to cool. Break up the filo into shards. It doesn’t matter if it shatters and crumbles, it will still be as tasty.
To assemble; tip a panacotta onto a plate and remove the foil container (you may have to snip it to help it off). Coat the outside with filo and almond shards. Place 2 peach halves next to it and drizzle everything with a little bit of peach syrup followed by a generous amount of honey. Top with the chopped pistachios.

More recipes from Debbie here