Caramelised oranges with honeyed ricotta
This sweet dessert is quick and easy but sure to impress. Ricotta is a delicious alternative to whipped cream.
Pare the zest from two oranges and cut into very fine shreds (or use a zester). Set aside.
Peel all the oranges by cutting the skin and white pith away, to reveal the naked orange flesh.
Using a small, very sharp knife, cut the first segment out of the orange, sliding the knife down between its fine papery skin and its flesh on either side, then easing it out. Carry on working your way around the orange, cutting out the segments.
Put the segments and any juice from the oranges into a shallow serving bowl. Repeat the process with the remaining oranges until all are segmented.
Heat a small pan of water until boiling. When boiling, drop the orange zest into the water, simmer for two minutes then drain well through a sieve into a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat a wide, heavy-based pan (preferably one with a pale-coloured bottom) over a moderate heat. Add the sugar and leave for a few minutes, keeping a careful eye over it, until the sugar begins to melt. Don't stir. Restrain yourself and do no more than tip and tilt the pan to get the sugar to melt evenly.
Once the sugar is liquid, let it bubble gently, then more strongly, until it begins to brown (this may take as little as 2-3 minutes), still tilting and swirling the pan occasionally.
Once the sugar has caramelised to a hazelnut brown, pour the measured hot water into the pan. Do this at arm's length, wearing an oven glove. Be very careful, as the caramel will spit and hiss when you first add the water.
Swirl and stir the caramel syrup and turn the heat to low. Drop in the blanched shreds of orange zest and leave to simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the zest is translucent. You may need to add a bit more water if the caramel thickens too much.
Pour the hot syrup and shreds over the orange segments and leave to cool.
Meanwhile, make the honeyed ricotta. In a clean bowl, beat the ricotta with the honey, then taste. If you'd like it sweeter add either a little icing sugar, if the honey has a strong flavour, or a little more honey if it's mild. Fold two-thirds of the almonds into the mixture and scatter the rest on top.
Serve the caramelised oranges with the honeyed ricotta on the side.