Caramelised apple and ricotta kheer

Caramelised apple and ricotta kheer

Anjum's Indian Vegetarian Feast
Emma Lee

This dessert is really special, with the creamy reduced milk, sweet-tart caramelised apple and ricotta. It is simple to make, but you do need to hover around the kitchen as it cooks to ensure the milk does not catch and burn as it reduces. This means stirring the pan, scraping the base with a flat-bottomed spatula, every four to five minutes or so. If you are stepping away from the kitchen, either reduce the heat to its lowest or turn it off until you return. If you prefer you can add 100 g of crumbled paneer instead of ricotta. You can make this a day early and chill in the fridge overnight.


Quantity Ingredient
200g ricotta
1.5 litres whole milk, plus more if needed
1 tablespoon rice flour
pinch saffron strands
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 tablespoons caster sugar, plus 2 teaspoons, or to taste
2 firm, sweet-tart apples
1 rounded tablespoon unsalted butter
flaked almonds, to garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Place the ricotta, slightly spread out in bits, between two layers of greaseproof paper, put it in the oven and bake for 40 minutes. As it bakes it will dry out and become slightly hard. Put a timer on so as not to forget about the ricotta as you reduce the milk. Once done, remove from the oven and leave to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, fill a wide, large pan with enough water to come 5 mm up the sides, and bring to the boil. Then add the milk, return to the boil and cook over a low heat, stirring very often and scraping the base of the pan to stop the milk from catching and burning. Cook until reduced by half, it will take 45–50 minutes. Add the rice flour, saffron and cardamom and gently return to the boil while stirring. Cook for another 10–15 minutes, still stirring, adding the 2 tablespoons of sugar halfway. The mixture should be one-third of its original volume. Remove from the heat.
  3. Towards the end of the cooking, peel the apples and grate on the coarse side of a box grater into long strands (I grate them straight into a non-stick pan). Place on the heat and add the butter and the extra 2 teaspoons of sugar. Sauté over a moderate flame until the apple has turned a lovely pale gold and is slightly caramelised, around three minutes. Take off the heat.
  4. Once the milk, apples and ricotta have cooled, mix together, taste and adjust the sugar if necessary, adding more milk if the kheer seems too thick. I like mine lightly creamy, but everyone likes it slightly differently.
  5. Pour into a serving dish and chill in the fridge. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds to serve.
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