Saturday, April 21, 2012

Who Knew?

Who knew that making homemade ricotta cheese could be so easy?  15 minutes.  That's it.  I don't know if it's really cost effective or if I'll do it again, but I made cheese today!  As the recipe lists, it takes a milk, cream, Greek yogurt, lemon, and salt. All reasonably priced, but it also requires cheesecloth which at $4.00 for a small piece, is fairly pricey.  I think if I were to make this again, I would experiment with doubled up paper towel.  I've read you can rinse out cheesecloth and use it again. I'm too lazy for that nonsense. Just saying!
The final amount of actual cheese is approximately two cups.  I used a cup of it on a simple pasta dish where the ricotta could shine.  I roasted some medium/small tomatoes with some salt, pepper, and olive oil for about 1 1/2 hours at 275 degrees, creating some slightly wrinkled and caramelized tomato jewels.  Pasta with a few dollops of fresh ricotta cheese, roasted tomatoes, some shreds of fresh basil, salt and pepper, and a drizzle of good olive oil made a divine dinner that reminded me of summer.  I really want summer to be here now.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

1 quart whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup whole plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

In a medium saucepan, add whole milk, heavy cream, Greek yogurt, lemon juice and kosher salt, whisking to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook until the mixture begins to curdle.

While the mixture is warming up, line a colander with 4 layers of cheesecloth. Set the lined colander over a tall bowl.
Once the mixture curdles, pour into the colander. Let drain for about 5 minutes for a creamier ricotta. Drain for about 15 minutes for a dry ricotta. Transfer the ricotta to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.


Taradharma said...

is the taste superior to the ricotta you can get at the store?

I never thought of making my own, and the containers are usually more than I would eat in a reasonable amount of time.

smc said...

I think the taste was similar but the texture was supberb. Very creamy. As I said though, there is a lot of waste with the whey. I read on the "net" that there are a lot of ways to use the whey, I just chose not to this time.