There is nothing like making homemade cheese, especially ricotta. You can obviously find very good ricotta in Italian specialty shops (sorry folks, Polly-O and Sorrento don’t count). But there is nothing like making it and enjoying it fresh in the comfort of your home. So that is why this evening I decided to make homemade ricotta. I’ll be honest it is time consuming, but the finished product is well worth the time and effort.
Separating the curds from the whey
You start by combining 2 quarts of whole milk (look for a high fat milk), 1 pint of heavy cream, 1 tablespoon of fine sea salt dissolved in 16 fl. oz. of bottled spring water. Make sure you are using a tall pot. Also make sure the pot is very clean. It will take almost 1 hour for the milk, heavy cream and salted water mixture to come to a boil. It is imperative to bring the mixture to a boil very slowly. Only stir the pot when a skin begins to form on the top of the mixture. Add the lemon juice (juice from 1 large lemon)when the mixture starts to boil. The lemon juice instantly curdles the mixture. Take the pot off the heat and let the mixture rest for a few minutes. The curds that float to the top are what become the ricotta. I used a slotted spoon to transfer the curds from the pot to a cheesecloth lined colander.
The ricotta needs to hang out for about 15 minutes so that the excess whey drains off. After that, it is ready to be used how you want. You can use it for ravioli, for filling cannoli, or like I did, by itself as a dessert.
I served it 2 ways, with a drizzle of Canonica Verde‘s Arancia (Orange) Umbrian Honey or a drizzle of Sardinian saba (sweetened grape must). Both ways were delicious. So next time, instead of buying ricotta, give this recipe a try. I’m sure you’ll make your friends and family happy. Enjoy!
Homemade Ricotta drizzled with Canonica Verde’s Arancia (Orange) Umbrian Honey
Living to eat,