Orange and Ricotta Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries

These stuffed strawberries are to the dessert table what deviled eggs are to an appetizer spread. They’re small enough to be a two-biter, and the filling can be switched up depending on what flavor you’re in the mood for or what ingredients you have on hand.

Reprinted from the book Mini Treats and Hand-Held Sweets. Copyright © 2012 by Abigail Johnson Dodge. Published by Taunton Press.

Orange and Ricotta Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries

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    Ingredients

    4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature 1 teaspoon orange-flavored liqueur or freshly squeezed orange juice
    1/4 cup whole-milk ricotta 1 pinch table salt
    1/4 cup confectioners' sugar 1 quart large fresh strawberries, rinsed and dried
    2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest

    directions

    Total:
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    • 1

      Put the cream cheese and ricotta in a medium bowl. Beat with a hand-held electric mixer on medium speed until well blended and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar, orange zest, orange liqueur or juice, and salt and continue beating until well blended, about 1 minute. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours, or up to 1 day before filling the strawberries.

    • 2

      Using a small knife, cut off the tops of the strawberries and cut off a little bit of the bottom tips so the filled berries will sit upright. Using a paring knife or a very small melon baller, scoop out some of the center of the strawberries, leaving the bottom and sides intact. Fit a star tip (like an Ateco #4) into a pastry bag and fill it with the chilled ricotta filling.

    • 3

      Pipe the filling evenly into the center of the each strawberry, making sure the filling comes slightly over the berry’s flat edge to create a swirled peak. Arrange the berries on a serving platter and refrigerate for up to 1 day. They are best when served slightly chilled.

    • 4

      Just before serving, garnish the top of each berry with a small sprig of basil or mint.

    notes

    Twists

    • Make the filling lemon-flavored: Substitute 11⁄2 teaspoons grated lemon zest for the orange zest and use lemon-flavored liqueur or freshly squeezed lemon juice instead of the orange liqueur.
    • Use apricots instead of strawberries: Cut small ripe apricots in half lengthwise and scoop out the pit and some of the flesh from the center. Slice off a bit of the back side so it doesn’t wobble. Pipe the filling into the center and proceed as directed for the strawberries.
    • Change up the garnish: Instead of garnishing with basil or mint, sprinkle the filled strawberries with toasted, finely chopped pistachios, toasted coconut, or colored sprinkles, or drizzle with a little melted bittersweet chocolate.

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