Sunday, September 25, 2011

D.I.Y. Ricotta

There is such a huge difference between your average store bought ricotta and fresh ricotta, and unless you're fortunate enough to live nearby an Italian deli or specialty store, you're going to be hard pressed to find real fresh ricotta.

Even if you do have access to good fresh ricotta I recommend making it at least once. By understanding the work that goes into something you start to appreciate it more.


Ingredients

4 cups whole milk
1 cup cream
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
2-4 tbsp lemon juice

Procedure

Combine milk, cream, salt, and 2 tbsp of the lemon juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil without stirring and then immediately remove from heat. Cover with a towel and let mixture stand for 15 minutes at room temperature.

If only a few curds form, your lemon juice may not be acidic enough. Add another tbsp, gently stir so you don't break up the curds, and let stand for another 5 minutes. Repeat if you still don't see many curds.

Transfer mixture into a cheesecloth-lined bowl. The longer you allow for draining, the denser and more flavorful the cheese will be. Therefore, do not squeeze out the liquid.

I gathered up all the edges of the cheesecloth and tied it up so it could continue to drain slowly.

One of my favorite ways to eat fresh ricotta (thanks to Five Leaves) is to cut up some figs, add a scoop of honeycomb and sprinkle some fresh thyme on top.

Combined with a fresh country loaf. Heaven.


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