Want to make this holiday season your cheesiest yet? In this multi-part series, chef Erin Harris (a.k.a. The Cheese Poet) shares creative and impressive cheese pairings—and the recipes you’ll need to make them. Come back every other Wednesday throughout the holidays to cook with The Cheese Poet.
In this simple recipe, perfect for Holiday entertaining, I have combined a few classic Italian flavors into a unique and satisfying dessert cheese course. If you’re like me, you’ll be enamored with the seductive decadence of the Italian Burrata cheese. A plump, hand-formed ball of fresh mozzarella, filled with straciatella— a mixture of fresh cheese curd and cream.
We all know that Burrata is brilliant served alongside ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and grilled country bread. But, have you ever thought how special this luxurious cheese can be as a dessert? Amarena cherries grow wild in Italy and are tart and a bit sweet.
Here I pair them with Amaretto liquor in a gently sweetened sauce, and serve warm on top of Burrata. Make sure you have lots of your favorite biscotti, cantucci or Italian butter cookies on hand for scooping up all of that glorious, oozy cheese. If you want to take it up another notch, serve with chunks of dark chocolate, and a glass of Amaro del Capo Vecchio. Salute!
- 1 ball Italian Burrata Cheese
- 1 16 oz. jar Amarena Cherries in syrup, drained, ½ cup of syrup reserved
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp Amaretto liquor
- Almond or Chocolate Biscotti, Cantucci, or Italian Butter cookies for serving
- Remove the Burrata from its container and dry it on paper towel. Then, gently transfer it to a medium serving platter, making sure not to break it open until ready to serve. In a saute pan over medium heat, combine the cherries and the cherry syrup with the sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is reduced by half ( 3-5 minutes). Add the butter and stir until melted and completely incorporated.
- Remove the pan from the heat, add the Amaretto and return the pan to medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil . The Amaretto may ignite but will burn off after a minute or two. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Spoon the warm cherries and their juices over the Burrata and serve with your favorite Italian cookies.