Thursday, May 04, 2006

Homemade Ricotta

I tried this recipe for Homemade Ricotta a while ago and just fell in love with it. Homemade cheese is totally different from the store bought ones, especially ricotta. The one I found at grocery stores around here are very thin and a lot sweeter than the cheese made at home. Some Italian markets do carry nice and fresh cheeses, including good ricotta, but the store bought ones don’t even get an inch close in flavor and quality as the homemade version.
This is super easy to make, there is no way you can go wrong. I have been making it basically every week since I first tried it and after a couple times I didn’t even needed the thermometer to know it was at 190 F anymore.
I have made ricotta a couple different ways already, using milk and lemon juice, using whey (from fresh cheese I make) and rennet, even using a combination of milk and whey, but none of them was as good as this one, made with milk and buttermilk.
The ricotta’s soft curds are rich and creamy, with a nice milky taste to it, not acidic or sweet as some I have had. This was the perfect cheese to me!
And it can be used it in many different recipes, both savory and sweet. I have flavored mine with kosher salt, pepper and olive oil and used as a dipping for crispy veggies and crackers, creamy and delicious, so good!

It can also be used in sweet recipes, from a simple sweetened ricotta and fruits parfait to a delicious cheesecake, or even a lighter version of tiramisu (I have a delicious recipe for tiramisu that uses ricotta for part of the mascarpone). Oh, and I don’t add the salt to my ricotta, so I can use it in any recipe I want.
Very versatile, and better of all, delicious and good for you! Calcium rich too!! Hehehe!!
Tomorrow I will post a recipe for a Butternut Squash Lasagna that I made with the ricotta and was really good!

Homemade Ricotta

1 gallon 2% reduced-fat milk
5 cups low-fat buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Line a large colander or sieve with 5 layers of dampened cheesecloth, allowing the cheesecloth to extend over outside edges of colander; place colander in a large bowl.
Combine milk and buttermilk in a large, heavy stockpot. Attach a candy thermometer to edge of pan so that thermometer extends at least 2 inches into milk mixture. Cook over medium-high heat until candy thermometer registers 170° (about 20 minutes), gently stirring occasionally. As soon as milk mixture reaches 170°, stop stirring (whey and curds will begin separating at this point). Continue to cook, without stirring, until the thermometer registers 190°. (Be sure not to stir, or curds that have formed will break apart.) Immediately remove pan from heat. (Bottom of pan may be slightly scorched.)
Using a slotted spoon, gently spoon curds into cheesecloth-lined colander; discard whey, or reserve it for another use. Drain over bowl for 5 minutes. Gather edges of cheesecloth together; tie securely. Hang cheesecloth bundle from kitchen faucet; drain 15 minutes or until whey stops dripping. Scrape ricotta into a bowl. Sprinkle with salt; toss gently with a fork to combine. Cool to room temperature. Store in refrigerator up to 4 days.

Yield: About 3 cups
Cooking Light, April 2005


Valentina said...

I love the idea of this dish. I equally loved the ricotta recipe.I just don't often have much time - unfortunatelly. However, I must do something about it.

Anonymous said...

Adorei o seu blog e as duas receitas entao nem se fala, mas sao em ingles e mtos termos e medidas sao tecnicos, entao nao da para perceber tudo, pena que vc nao escreva em portugues, de qualquer maneira, esta de parabens pelas excelentes receitas publicadas. obrigado. Eu vivo em Portugal, anabela martins

Sarah said...

just tried this (i halved it) and turned out amazing! going to link to the recipe on my blog - thanks! Sarah