Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ricotta Cheese

In this month's Secret Recipe Club I was lucky enough to be assigned Parsley, Sage, Desserts, and Line Drives. It's written by Lisa Michele and has a wide-ranging archive of recipes to browse. I viewed so many delicious things on this blog, but somehow found myself coming back time and again to homemade ricotta cheese.

I have been promising myself to make more homemade cheeses. A few years ago I tried mascarpone and I have made yogurt a dozen times. Ricotta seemed like a natural next step, and I was glad for Lisa Michele's encouragement to actually do it. Making ricotta is actually extremely simple. There are just four ingredients: milk, cream, salt, and lemon juice. The hands-on portion of the method takes about fifteen minutes. Then you just let the ricotta sit for an hour or two and then enjoy.

Ricotta Cheese
makes about 1 cup (250 ml)

4 c (1 L) whole (full fat) milk
1 c (250 ml) heavy cream
1 t sea salt
1 1/2 t lemon juice

Heat the milk, cream, and sea salt in a saucepan until at the boiling point. Stir frequently to avoid the milk scorching.
Add the lemon juice and reduce the heat. Stir for about two minutes, during which time the milk will have curdled.

Layer a sieve over a bowl and line with cheesecloth or a clean tea towel.
Pour in the milk and leave for an hour or two to drain.
Store the ricotta in the fridge.
Keep the whey for protein drinks or to use when baking bread.

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