About Ricotta

I have a rather surprising confession to make, and that is this: I love cheese. I love cheese SO MUCH. I love cheese SO MUCH that every now and again I am overcome with this overwhelming desire--nay, need--to wield my God-like powers and CREATE THE OBJECT I SO DESIRE.

Ahem. Sorry about that; I think my love of cheese momentarily took over my brain like some sort of brain-taker-over thingy. ANYWAY, here's the thing: making ricotta is ridiculously easy. So let's go shopping, 'kay?

For about a cup of cheese you'll need:
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 lemons
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
So listen, you might not have a Microplane grater in your kitchen, and to that I say WHY NOT? Just look what a good job it does at zesting lemons!

Because that's what you'll need to do first: remove the zest from all your lemons and then juice them. (If you don't have a Microplane, don't fret! You can use either a vegetable peeler or the finest side of a box grater. Just make sure you only remove the outer yellow part, and none of the pithy white stuff beneath.)

Now that the hard work is done, go ahead and heat up your milk and cream. Once it comes to a boil immediately remove it from burner. Add the rest of your ingredients, stir it all together, and let it sit for 20 minutes. It'll go from this to this:

Fascinating, I know. Seriously, though, this is where it gets interesting. Remember that fine-mesh sieve of yours? Well, set that over a bowl and line it with a couple layers of cheesecloth. (Get it? Cheesecloth?) Then pour everything in that pot through that cheesecloth (get it?) and let it strain for at least two hours, until it's about as thick (heh) as you need it to be.

Then, when you dump it all out into a bowl, you can pat yourself on the back because YOU JUST MADE CHEESE.

One final note: this particular ricotta recipe is very, very lemony, which means it's best suited for desserts, or for foods that play well with lemons. So if you want a more Jack-of-all-trades cheese, omit the zest and only use the juice of 2 or 3 lemons.

Happy cheesemaking!

No comments:

Post a Comment