I just made ricotta--first time ever! Why did I wait so long? It's so easy and it's delicious. The basic recipe comes from April's Bon Appetit magazine. Try it on bread, challah, cannoli, cannelloni, cakes, lasagna, veggies--wherever a creamy, cheesy addition would be good. You can flavor it however you like--like with chocolate pieces, lemon/orange rind, sugar, flavorings, herbs. I'm going to try it again using raw milk (if I can source it) which has more depth of flavor than pasteurized. And I can't wait to try it with sheep's milk, like I had in Sicily--that was an ultimate culinary experience. Let me know how yours turns out!
You will need a large, heavy-bottomed pot, a candy thermometer that clips onto the side of the pot, a colander, a skimmer, and cheese cloth.
8 cups whole milk (not ultra-pasteurized; preferably organic)
2 cups low-fat (2%) commercial buttermilk (preferably organic)
Stack 4 large squares of cheesecloth in colander leaving overhang.
Combine milk and buttermilk in pot and attach thermometer.
Over high heat, stir almost constantly as small curds begin to form.
When mixture reaches 175-180 degrees and curds have separated from the liquid (whey) and are floating on top of liquid, turn off heat.
With slotted spoon or skimmer transfer the curds to the prepared colander.
Gather up the cheesecloth and release some liquid from under the cheesecloth, squeezing a little--don't press or the ricotta will be dry.
Deposit ball of cheese into colander and let rest 20 minutes.
Then transfer it to a medium size bowl, sprinkle lightly with salt, mix gently, cover and chill until cold, about 2 hours.
Last painting of 2013~
2 days ago