Apple Crisp

In Italy, the traditional baked fruit-based dessert is called a crostata.  Although I love a crostata made with seasonal fruit for either dessert or breakfast, the “fruit crisp” that I discovered here is just as delicious and easier to make. 

Fruit crisps are very similar to fruit crumbles, except that the crisps contain oats, making it a perfect breakfast food for me and my family.  I like this dish for dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream.  You can also serve it with a dollop of plain yogurt for breakfast.

Servings: 6-8


Fruit base:

  • 6 Granny Smith apples, or 4 apples and 2 peaches (see note*)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider

Crisp topping:

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup oats
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup cold salted butter, cut into pieces (you can also use unsalted butter and add a pinch of salt instead)
  • 4 teaspoons of maple quinoa granola (or substitute 3 tablespoons of regular granola and one tablespoon of maple syrup)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. Peel, halve and core the apples, then slice them into ¼-inch slices.  Place in a 10 ½ x 7 inch baking dish or 6-8 individual ramekins.
  3. In a medium-size bowl, mix the ingredients for the crisp with your hands so the pieces of butter are incorporated well.  
  4. Break the mixture into small chunks and evenly distribute over the fruit.
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown.  
  6.  Serve warm, or refrigerate overnight for a delicious breakfast treat.

*Note: You can also use Braeburn, Cortland or Jonagold apples when in season.  Adjusting the quantity to 4 apples and 2 peaches works well in the late summer months.

Homemade Ricotta

I used to make house-made ricotta daily at Felidia, and sometimes would make it on weekends with my daughter at home.  I love it on toasted bread with some seasonal fruit for a late breakfast.  I also like to serve it as a snack before dinner, or I’ll add a dollop to certain pastas and soups for some added freshness. For the best results, use organic dairy.

Servings: Makes 2-3 cups


  • 2 quarts whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice.


  1. Line a large sieve with a double layer of damp cheesecloth. Set it over a bowl. 
  2. Add the dairy and salt to a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil.  
  3. Add the lemon juice, and reduce the heat to the low.  Begin to stir your ricotta mixture gently for two minutes until the mixture begins to curdle.
  4. Remove from heat, and let the ricotta sit without stirring for an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Pour the mixture through the cheesecloth, and let it drain for 30 minutes. The homemade ricotta is what you have left in the cheesecloth. 
  6. Chill until ready to use.

Note:  Homemade ricotta is delicious for breakfast, but I enjoy it anytime of day. Try adding a dollop of freshly made ricotta to a spicy tomato sauce or a spring vegetable soup for a little extra flavor and freshness.