I'm amazed at how superior your vanilla is!
- Des, The Grommet
I opened the bottle of your vanilla extract last weekend to bake some cookies and the difference in taste is extraordinary." – Judy

Baked Ricotta Custard with Cherries in Port Wine with Star Anise

Baked Ricotta Custard with Cherries in Port Wine with Star Anise
Away from the Kitchen by Dawn Blume Hawkes;
Recipe by Chef Gail Gand

The natural sweetness of the port is enough for this light dish, and the frozen sour cherries are perfect when fresh fruit is not available.


Baked Ricotta Custard with Cherries in Port Wine with Star Anise



Ricotta Custard

12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

3/4 cup fresh ricotta

2 eggs

1 egg white

1/2 teaspoon Rain’s Choice pure Vanilla Extract

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup coarse sugar (Con AA or Sugar in the Raw) (Con AA is available at cake-decorating and craft stores; Sugar in the Raw is available at most grocery stores)

Cherries in Port

3 cups port wine 1 cinnamon stick

2 star anise

1/2 Vanilla Bean

2 cups frozen sour cherries, thawed and drained, juice reserved

1 tablespoon cornstarch


Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F

Ricotta Custard

Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and cream until light, smooth, and fluffy.

Add the ricotta and continue mixing.

Gradually add the eggs, egg white, and vanilla extract, mixing after each addition. Mix in the sugar and cream.

Pour the batter into an ovenproof baking dish and place in a water bath.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until the custard is set but has no color.

Cover and chill the custard until ready to serve.

Makes ten to twelve 4-ounce servings.

Cherries in Port

In a saucepan, place the port, cinnamon, star anise, and vanilla bean. Simmer until reduced to 1 cup.

Add the cherries and heat through.

Mix the cornstarch with the reserved cherry juice and stir it gently into the port and cherries. Cook gently until thickened.

To Assemble and Serve

Just before serving, warm the cherries in a saucepan and reserve.

Spoon the warm cherry-port sauce over the surface of the custard.

Place one of the meringue pillows next to the baked custard.

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!

Meringue recipe
Makes 10–12 servings

Chef’s note: Instead of the cherry-port sauce, you may also coat the top of the custard with coarse sugar and caramelize with a blowtorch (or under the broiler if you don’t have a torch) for a crisp, crackly, brûléed top.

Patricia Rain
Follow me
Latest posts by Patricia Rain (see all)

Tags: , , ,

Patricia Rain

is an author, educator, culinary historian, and owner of The Vanilla Company (www.vanillaqueen.com), a socially conscious, product-driven information and education site dedicated to the promotion of pure, natural vanilla, and the support of vanilla farmers worldwide. She also does culinary presentations for food professionals, cooking schools, trade shows, food fairs, and private groups, and is a regular radio and TV guest.

Leave a comment

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Why do our customers love Rain's Choice vanilla?

  • 99% of all vanilla products are imitation. Ours are 100% PURE!
  • We carefully choose all products to assure best QUALITY & FLAVOR!
  • Our farmers are paid a FAIR PRICE.
  • Our vanilla beans are SUSTAINABLY grown.
  • Everything we sell is grown WITHOUT CHEMICAL pesticides or fertilizers.
  • Your purchase here supports our HUMANITARIAN efforts.

Thank you for supporting The Vanilla Company and our farmers! BUY HERE now.

For an update on the 2016 vanilla shortage, please see "Why is Vanilla so Expensive?"

Newsletter Signup

Join our community, get news on issues of concern about our planet and its inhabitants, recipes and deals. Over 5,000 subscribers!

The Vanilla Company