Monday, June 20, 2011

Homemade Ricotta

The picture quality just got a lot better on this site because I finally taught myself how to use that fancy camera my brothers got me for my birthday! Thanks guys!

I am pretty pumped that I just made some form of cheese at home. Now that I know how easy it is to whip up a batch of ricotta, I will be making this all the time. All ya need is milk, cream, salt and lemon juice. Thats it. 

The end result is a deliciously creamy cheese that is great shmeared on a baguette or tossed into some pasta. Definitely give this a try!

Fresh, Homemade Ricotta
Recipe from adapted from Gourmet

Makes about 2 cups and can easily be halved

8 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

Combine the milk, cream, and salt in a heavy saucepan. Separately, line a colander with cheesecloth and set it in a large bowl. Measure out the lemon juice and set it aside.

Bring the milk mixture to a simmer over medium high heat, stirring occasionally with a spatula to prevent scalding. Once the mixture has reached a steady simmer, add the lemon juice and stir gently with the spatula quickly, just to blend. Let the mixture sit for about 1 minute, turning down the heat slightly so it stays at a simmer but doesn’t reach a hard, rolling boil. Stir with the spatula after about 1 minute, then let it sit another minute until it looks like most of the liquid has separated into curds and whey.

Drain the mixture into the cheesecloth-lined colander set over a bowl, and let it drain at room temperature for 1 hour. Transfer the ricotta to an airtight container and refrigerate. (The cheese does firm up after refrigeration.)

*The picture at the top of the page is a great snack or party app. Just shmear some ricotta on a baguette and top with whatever you like. Our favorites were:
-prosciutto and peach
-shaved summer squash and lemon
-truffle oil with salt and pepper
-tomato with oil and balsamic vinegar
-honey and salt