This is a delicious dessert of apricots roasted with honey and ginger, and served with ricotta and spiced filo. This recipe is based on one from our book of the week, Orient Express by Silvena Rowe. If apricots are  not in season, use either dried  apricots, soaked in hot water for approximately one hour, or tinned apricots, drained of the juices. You can make your own za’atar, or purchase it from a Middle Eastern store. 

6 ripe apricots, quartered (or 12 dried apricots halved, see introduction)
3cm fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3T  runny honey
4 large rectangular sheets of filo pastry
50g butter, melted
1t green peppercorns, crushed
2-3T  za’atar
400g fresh ricotta, crumbled

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. In a bowl, toss together the apricots, ginger and honey. Arrange on a baking-tray and cook in the oven for eight minutes, until just soft and lightly golden. Keep warm with the cooking juices until ready to serve.
  3. Place a sheet of filo on your work surface, brush with butter and sprinkle with peppercorns and za’atar. Top with another sheet of filo and repeat. Do this until all four sheets are layered on top of each other with the peppercorns and za’atar sprinkled in between. Cut the layers horizontally into five equal strips then vertically, so you end up with 25 squares (although you actually only need 24).
  4. Arrange the squares on to a greased baking-sheet, then weigh it down with another baking-tray and place in the oven for eight to 10 minutes, until crisp and golden.
  5. Crumble the ricotta on to 4-6 serving plates, arrange 4 pieces of apricot on each plate and garnish with a couple of the spiced filo pieces. Finally, drizzle with the apricot cooking juices.

Serves 6


Wickedfood Cooking School runs cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built Johannesburg cooking studio. Cookery classes are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). The venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – teambuilding cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference. Our cooking lessons are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and team building cooking classes these events are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.