Monday, July 23, 2012

Homemade Ricotta Cheese! Fresh, Easy and Fun!

    1 quart whole milk (950ml)
    1/2 cup heavy cream (120ml)
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Line a large sieve with a double layer of cheesecloth and place the sieve over a large bowl.  Set this aside for later.

Slowly heat milk, cream, and salt in a 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring often to prevent scorching. 
If you have a milk thermometer - the temperature should reach 190F/88C. 

Add lemon juice, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly but gently, until the mixture curdles. 
This should take about 2 minutes.

Pour the mixture into the lined sieve and let it drain 1 hour for a firmer cheese.  For a softer ricotta, check it after about 1/2 an hour. 

After discarding the liquid that has drained into the bowl, pack the ricotta in a well covered container. 
 Ensure it stays covered as it will pick up a slight taste of onion or any other strong-flavoured foods that may be in your refrigerator.

Fresh ricotta should keep for about 2 days.

Yield:  Approximately 1 cup of ricotta cheese.  This recipe can be doubled.

K (D)

I like to make small toasts from leftover french bread or challah - brush each piece with garlic infused olive oil and toast in the oven until fairly dry.   Allow guests to spread them with choices of fresh ricotta, basil pesto and a few sun-dried tomatoes.  Easy and delicious appetiser!

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