Grilled plums on toasted panettone with honeyed ricotta and mint syrup

Panettone is a light, airy Italian version of a fruit cake, usually eaten at Christmas and Easter. It varies slightly from region to region but generally is studded with raisins and fruit peel. My favourite brand is called Dal Forno (available from specialty food stores). It is fabulous eaten on its own with an espresso or sweet liqueur, or lightly toasted as I have done in this recipe.

By Luca Villari
  • 30 mins preparation
  • Serves 4
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Grilled plums
  • 4 large plums, halved and pits removed
  • 5 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 60 gram unsalted butter, cut into 8 large dice
  • 4 x 1.5cm-thick slices panettone, cut into 10cm x 6cm pieces
  • 6 mint leaves
  • 150 gram meringue
Sugar syrup
  • 125 millilitre caster sugar
  • 125 millilitre cold water
Ricotta mix
  • 250 gram ricotta
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 1/2 orange, zest and juice
  • 1 tablespoon galliano


Grilled plums
  • 1
    Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • 2
    Place cut plums face up on lined baking tray. Coat each with caster sugar then top with a butter cube. Cook in oven for 5-6 minutes (depending on ripeness) until slightly soft and starting to ooze. Take out and leave to cool. Leave oven on.
Sugar Syrup
  • 3
    Meanwhile, make syrup. Place sugar and water in a small pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer then immediately take off heat and leave to cool.
Ricotta mix
  • 4
    For the ricotta mix, place all ingredients in a blender and pulse for 10 seconds. Transfer to a small container and refrigerate until required.
Panettone slices
  • 5
    Lay panettone slices on a greased oven tray and place in oven (still at 180°C) for 5-7 minutes or until lightly toasted.
  • 6
    Place cooked plums in a bowl and pour the cooled syrup on top. Thinly slice mint and add to bowl.
To serve
  • 7
    To serve, scatter some of the ricotta mix on each plate. Place panettone on top, spoon on more ricotta mix and add 2 plum halves. Drizzle plums with a generous amount of syrup then crush the meringue and sprinkle on top.

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