Ricotta

Due to some milk that needed to be used up like right.this.second, and a small container of heavy whipping cream also camped out in my fridge I decided it was time to make ricotta. I may also be making spinach lasagna tomorrow for dinner, and I thought it would be a good idea. Homemade is (almost) always better than store bought after all. So make ricotta I did.

Then I had to go to Trader Joe’s after I got Sophia from school as I needed to get a flower assortment for flower arranging in her class (Montessori is awesome, and I will surely make a post on that sometime in the near future). While I was there I decided to get some whole milk and fresh lemons to try another batch of ricotta. I see a problem forming here. After getting Nola from school we had to go to Target to procure cotton balls for a diorama she needs to do. While there I got buttermilk and more heavy whipping cream. See the problem yet?

We got home and instead of starting dinner… I made another variation of ricotta. (I did eventually get dinner made, no worries.)

Ricotta

The first recipe I tried was from Smitten Kitchen

Note – I doubled the recipe because I needed to get the milk used up.

Ingredients

7 cups milk (I used 2%)
1 cup heavy cream
1.5-2 tsp Kosher salt
6 Tbsp lemon juice (it says fresh, I used bottled)

Directions

In a heavy sauce pan, using a candy thermometer, heat milk and cream to to 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir occasionally to avoid scalding the milk

Line a colander with 4 layers of cheese cloth (or in my case this time around, a cotton napkin). Place colander in bowl if you want to save the whey.

Once milk has reached 190 degrees remove from heat, add lemon juice, and give a few gentle stirs. Let sit for 5 minutes. When you check it should be separated. (Or not, if you forgot you did a double batch, and need to add more lemon juice).

Scoop curds out with slotted spoon into the cheese cloth lined colander and let drain until ricotta has reached desired consistency. Transfer ricotta to another bowl adding salt as you go.

Ricotta-3

This ricotta had the lemon tang to it. It is also very smooth like cream cheese, though I suspect that might also have a bit to do with the fact that I lacked proper cheese cloth at the time. Nola said this one was her favorite. Due to the lemon flavor in it I would not advise using it for lasagna. It would however be amazing on toast with jam, or something else that compliments the lemon.

Ricotta-4

The next recipe came from Framed Cooks

Ingredients

4 cups whole milk
One cup buttermilk
1/3 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt

Directions

In a heavy sauce pan, using a candy thermometer, heat milk, cream, and buttermilk to to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir occasionally to avoid scalding the milk.

Line a colander with 4 layers of cheese cloth (I got cheese cloth at Target!). Place colander in bowl if you want to save the whey.

Once milk has reached 185 degrees the curds should be visibly separated from the whey.

Scoop curds out with slotted spoon into the cheese cloth lined colander and let drain until ricotta has reached desired consistency. Transfer ricotta to another bowl adding salt as you go.

Ricotta-2

This ricotta had larger curd than store bought, but both Sophia and I liked the taste better. I think on this one I let it drain too long, and according to the Framed Cooks page you can add some of the whey back in to resolve the too dry issue. It didn’t stop me from trying to shovel the warm ricotta into my face, and both girls were rather impressed that it was still warm when they got to taste it. I think this recipe is a pretty good bet for lasagna tomorrow night. Also I think it’s a little easier since I don’t have to add the lemon juice (not that it’s really a hard step or anything).

Ricotta-5

If I can pull off doing TWO types of ricotta in one day, then you know it’s pretty easy! 😉

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