There are just some foods that I don’t even think of making, buying them seems to make so much more sense. Cheese is one of those foods – I have the desire to make it but am terrified by how hard I think it sounds. I’ve also seen too many people (who know what they are doing) had things go wrong in the process.
For some reason though, when I decided to make Grilled Peaches with Ricotta & Balsamic something possessed me to feel the need to make my own Ricotta! After much searching and research, I realized that Smitten Kitchen not only had the most amazing looking photos but also lots of research & she gave me the ins and outs of her own trials.
And guess what… it was so much easier than I had imagined it would be! The key is to use quality ingredients and just relax (and enjoy yourself) while cooking!
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Pour the milk, cream and salt into a 3-quart nonreactive saucepan. Attach a candy or deep-fry thermometer to the edge of your pan so it is hanging out in the middle of your liquid. Heat the milk to 190°F, stirring it occasionally to keep it from scorching on the bottom. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice, then stir it once or twice, very gently and slowly. Let the pot sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.
- Line a colander with a few layers of cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl, to catch the whey. Pour the curds and whey into the colander and let the curds strain for at least an hour. At an hour, you’ll have a tender, spreadable ricotta. At two hours, it will be spreadable but a bit firmer, almost like cream cheese. (It will firm as it cools, so do not judge its final texture by what you have in your cheesecloth.) Discard the whey, or save it for other goodies (bread like I did, or other things you can supposedly use it for – let me know what you use it for). Eat the ricotta right away or transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use, within 3 days.
made with help and instructions from the always wonderful Smitten Kitchen
*Note – be sure to use good ingredients: with so few ingredients in this, each one and its quality is important. I used fresh milk from The Lands at Hillside Farms (check out their ice cream if you are ever in the area – so good)
One Year Ago - Chocolate Mocha Cake (so good I made it by request for my Grandmother’s 85th birthday and my Dad got upset when I told him this was not the cake I was making for his birthday this year)
And I leave you with this, Today’s Question of the Day… What item that people normally just buy in the store do you make on a regular basis (OR have you challenged yourself to make at one time or another)?