Summer is not the ideal season for baking, especially when you’re working in a tiny kitchen with no air-conditioning. This ricotta parfait recipe comes in handy whenever you want a scrumptious dessert but don’t feel like touching the oven. Plus, it takes less than 15 minutes to put together. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Because it’s spring, we’re taking advantage of the beautiful sweet strawberries you can find at just about any market nowadays. Thyme emphasizes the floral notes in strawberries, so we’re using this savory herb to subtly scent the dessert, without overpowering the other elements.
Store-bought cookies—I love honey graham crackers—bring everything together, soaking up all the strawberry-honey juices. You could also use ladyfingers, sugar cookies, oatmeal cookies, or even crumbled phyllo or puff pastry. The options are endless. I like to think of this as an upgraded strawberries-and-cream scenario.
If you have any leftover strawberry-honey syrup, I highly suggest using it in a cocktail. Pair it with vodka and top it off with strawberry or vanilla seltzer. Or simply drizzle some of it into a classic gin and tonic. You won’t regret it!
- Prep time 15 minutes
- Cook time 1 minute
- Serves 3 to 4
plus 2 tablespoons honey, divided
graham crackers, or another cookie (see Author Notes)
Kosher salt, to taste
- Cut the stems off the strawberries. Slice the strawberries into quarters and place them in a large heatproof bowl.
- Use a vegetable peeler to remove 2 strips of lemon peel. Now halve the lemon and juice it into a glass.
- Combine the ⅓ cup of honey, thyme sprigs, 2 lemon peel strips, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer the mixture for 1 minute, then pour the infused honey over the strawberries. Mix to combine.
- Add the ricotta, remaining 2 tablespoons of honey, and a pinch of salt to another bowl. Using a whisk or electric mixer, whip the ricotta until the mixture becomes visibly lighter and fluffier, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in 1 to 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
- Divide half of the whipped ricotta between three to four serving glasses, then roughly crumble cookies on top. Top with the remaining ricotta, then finish it off with the syrupy strawberries. Serve right away.