Thursday, August 25, 2011

Homemade Ricotta

One of my oh-so-creative and foodie friends popped by yesterday and together we whipped up some homemade ricotta.  Yes, we actually did.  That's just how we roll.

Actually, it was all her idea and what an idea it was!  So delicious I could have eaten an entire baguette by myself and the whole dish of cheese, too!

The recipe was so simple that I think it just might be something I whip up on a Sunday morning and use to stuff some crepes with lemon and honey.  I'm drooling right now if you must know.

Here it is:

4 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Combine these ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil.  DO NOT STIR.

When it's boiling, remove from heat and let it sit for 15 minutes.  You'll see that there will be curds and whey.    If for some reason it's not properly separating, add an extra tablespoon of lemon juice, gently stir and let it sit 5 extra minutes.

After the 15 minutes, strain it through a cheese cloth lined sieve or colander.  The longer you let it set the firmer (and more flavorful) the cheese will be.  We let ours drain for about 30 minutes, I think.

Baguette toasted with olive oil, topped with ricotta, tomatoes from the garden, cucumbers and coarse sea salt.

Toasted baguette with olive oil, topped with ricotta, yellow baby pear tomatoes from the garden
Fresh snipped basil and coarse sea salt

My personal favorite:
Whole grain baguette brushed with olive oil, topped with ricotta, fresh snipped tarragon
Drizzled with local honey and sprinkled with sea salt.

I could eat this all day long and not get tired of it 


Bonnie said...

Can't wait to try it! Thanks!

Karen Joy said...

I finally made this! Or, I should say, I am finally making it, as it is draining in the cheesecloth-lined colander right now.

I realize you just had a baby (many happy congratulations!), so I don't know if/when you will get this notice.... but I have a few questions. Did you cover the milk mixture as it was heating? Did you bring it to a full, rolling boil, or just barely a simmer? Did you cover it while it was sitting for 15 min? Did you save the whey, and if so, what did you do with it?

I am using older raw milk. Not spoiled, but it tastes a little funky after a week, and I had a bunch of extra. So, I made a double batch. One jar I used was full-on half & half (it was half cream), and the other jar was whole milk... so I didn't use any extra heavy cream. I did cover it the whole time, and I let it come to a rolling boil... thinking maybe I shouldn't have let it boil that much. And now, I have probably 7 cups of sour, briney whey that I can't bear to dump down the sink, but I'm unsure what else to do with it. :)

Gombojav Tribe said...

Yes, bring it to a FULL boil. Do not cover it or stir it. And when straining it I did not cover it either.

The whey can be used for many things. I used mine to make bread (just regular french and sandwich bread) and as the milk substitute in things like pancakes.

Karen Joy said...

Daja, it was REALLY good cheese. Tasted just like ricotta! ;) I loved the hint of lemon in it, too. I did cover it, sort of, while it drained. I pulled the cheesecloth all the way over it, and after it had drained for a while (about an hour), I put a plate on top and stacked some bowls on top of the plate, to press all the liquid out. So, I ended up with some pretty firm ricotta, which worked great for my lasagna. I was able to crumble it in the layers of lasagna.

I am DEFINITELY making this again. The crew is asking for more already!! :)