First, a disclaimer: Turkish coffee deserves its own entry. It will get one eventually. Today, it’s a supporting player to a ricotta pudding with a Middle Eastern flair.
One of my quirks–I adore the smell of coffee, but never really warmed up to the taste; I’m much more of a tea drinker. Which is just as well. Even the de-caff me is pretty revved up, so a daily coffee would probably send me through the stratosphere!
Still, at one point, I was pretty good at making Turkish coffee, with its thick texture and cardamom-laced flavor, for loved ones and friends. Well, either I was good at it or they were too polite to tell me otherwise 😉 Lately, I’ve fallen off that wagon. Not to worry; I have another use for Turkish coffee up my sleeve. How about taking that rich flavor and putting it in a dessert?
About that dessert: I’ve been avoiding dairy lately (long story), but every now and then, I make an exception. (Paging my friends Ben & Jerry!) On the homemade front, this super simple ricotta pudding would be worth bending the rules every now and then. I’ve made it a couple of times when having friends over for dinner, and it’s always a big hit.
It’s incredibly easy and fast to make, too!
This recipe is inspired by a similar ricotta pudding made by Giada de Laurentiis. Hers has espresso and vanilla as the flavoring. (I love Giada’s show AND her recipes. When I want to cook Italian, I turn to her or Lidia Bastianich for guidance.)
Giada’s recipe was fab, and I love it just as much (maybe more?) with a Middle Eastern flair: Turkish coffee powder flavored with cardamom instead of espresso powder, and rosewater instead of vanilla.
Easy Turkish Coffee Pudding
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon of rose water
3 cardamom pods OR 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom powder
1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese (can use part-skim)
1/2 tablespoon Turkish coffee powder
1 to 2 Tablespoons of pistachio halves or slivers
Directions: If using whole cardamom pods, remove pods, and run seeds through a spice mill until very finely ground. Place the sugar in a food processor or blender. Add cardamom powder and Turkish coffee powder. Turn the machine on and blend until finely ground.
Place the ricotta and rose water in the machine. Blend until incorporated. Stop the machine. Then scrape down the sides with a spatula. Blend for about another minute, until ingredients are integrated. Spoon the mixture into 4-8 small coffee mugs. (See note).
Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
When you’re ready to serve, top Turkish coffree pudding with pistachio slivers and sprinkle with a tiny splash of rosewater on top.
NOTES: If you want bigger portions, use bigger cups. If you really want to imitate true Turkish coffee style service, use cups that are petite–like espresso cups, and serve with small spoons.
This recipe can easily be doubled. That’s what I do when hosting more than 3 or 4 for a dinner party.
I use a blender, because currently I don’t own a food processor.
Many varieties of Turkish coffee are flavored with cardamom, but I really wanted the cardamom flavor to come through, which is why the pods or a dried powder are called for.