Beautiful summer weekends beg for laid back brunches with friends, but so many of the best brunch dishes are a bit fussy ... so what do you do? Make nearly everything in advance and assemble for brunch. A meal with many components can leave its maker exhausted if taken on all at once, but if you split it into several smaller tasks taken on in the days before friends and loved ones arrive, you can present a stunning centerpiece and feel up for mimosas and laughter on the patio!
This dish allows you to start several days in advance by making the brandied peaches. They take about 10 minutes to put together and the marinating time in the refrigerator just gets checked off by making it early - it also gives you a chance to try them before brunch! Follow that up with making the port raspberry sauce 2-3 days before your brunch and getting that in the fridge too. It only takes 10-15 minutes to make. Then the ricotta custard gets made the night before in about 10 minutes or so. You can make crepes then too or do that in the morning. That leaves assembling and presentation as your bigger tasks for brunch morning - that's more like it!
I adore these crepes. You can have muffins, bacon/sausage/ham, fresh fruit, coffee/tea/juice, and anything else your little heart desires alongside them. Don't fuss too much because all anyone will be talking about are these stunning crepes! Feel free to bask in the glory a bit.
- 1 lb. frozen peaches
- ¾ c. brown sugar
- ½ c. brandy
- ⅓ c. cider vinegar
- 3 sticks cinnamon
- 10 oz. frozen raspberries
- ⅔ c. granulated sugar
- ¼ c. pomegranate juice
- 1 T. cornstarch mixed with 2 T. cold water
- ¼ c. ruby port
- 1 c. whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 c. milk
- 1 (3.4 oz.) box instant vanilla pudding
- 12 crepes (homemade or store bought)
To make the brandied peaches, place the peaches in a large glass bowl or large resealable glass jar; set aside.
Add the brown sugar, brandy, cider vinegar, and cinnamon sticks to a small saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes and pour over the peaches. Allow the peaches to marinate in this mixture in the refrigerator for several hours. When ready to serve, remove as many peach slices from the marinade and allow the remaining slices to chill in the refrigerator. Use the leftovers within a week. Stunning in cocktails or over ice cream!
To make the port raspberry sauce, combine the raspberries, sugar, and pomegranate juice in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Once visible bubbles are forming, add the cornstarch-water slurry and stir constantly until the sauce has thickened considerably. Remove from the heat and add the port, stirring well to incorporate. Cool and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Can be made up to 36 hours in advance.
To make the ricotta custard, whisk the ricotta cheese and milk together in the bowl of a stand mixer until well combined. Sprinkle the vanilla pudding powder into the cheese-milk mixture, all while whisking on low. When all of the powder has been added and incorporated, turn the speed to medium and whisk for 5 minutes. Chill the custard until ready to use. Can be made up to 24 hours in advance.
To assemble the crepes, spoon several tablespoons of the custard into a crepe. Arrange 2-3 crepes on a plate and drizzle with the port raspberry sauce and add several brandied peaches to top before serving.
- Yields: 4 servings
- Preparation Time: Several hours, though most of that is chilling and everything can be made in advance and assembled in minutes