Sometimes, the best food posts are the ones that get you salivating over something distant and far away, and then tell you how to make it at home. Smitten Kitchen’s Deb did just that. After raving about Salvatore Bklyn‘s fresh, rich ricotta on her “Deb’s New York” page, she painted the most beautiful, irresistible palate portrait (yes I just said palate portrait) of it in her post instructing you on how to make it. And make it I did.
And after making the cheese which takes twenty minutes of your time and an hour and a half of draining time, I swirled in a hint of vanilla extract and a tiny bit of honey, smeared the mixture into a buttery homemade tart shell and topped it with the fruit at hand – in this case, the sweetest mangoes imaginable.
But more on these tarts next week (I would post earlier, but unfortunately I’m off to GOA!!), I urge you to make the ricotta TODAY and eat it on toasted bread with extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper. Do it.
Fresh Homemade Ricotta
completely un-adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes one generous cup
I love DIY recipes like these that with minimal effort and time produce fantastic results at a fraction of the cost of the product on the shelf (cheeses in India are really very expensive). Deb’s recipe “blasphemously” incorporates not only full fat milk, but also heavy cream, producing a luxurious, rich, addictive ricotta that you are likely to start making on the regular (I know I will!).
3 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Pour the milk, cream and salt into a deep saucepan. If you have a candy/deep fry thermometer, heat the mixture till it reaches 190 degrees F, stirring every once in a while to stop the bottom from burning. If you, like me, don’t have a candy thermometer, heat the mixture till its quite hot to the touch, but not scorching.
Turn off the heat, add the lemon juice and stir a few times. The mixutre will start to curdle almost instantly. Leave the pot undisturbed for five minutes.
Meanwhile, line a large strainer with muslin/cheesecloth and set it over a bowl to catch the whey. Empty the contents of the pot into the lined strainer and leave the cheese to strain for an hour to two hours (depending on how thick you want the ricotta, I strained mine for an hour and a half).
Once drained, you can eat the ricotta immediately, or store it in the fridge in an airtight container.