A couple weeks back I decided to give my hand at making homemade ricotta from a recipe I had saved from Canning for a New Generation (CFANG) . Right at that same time, I saw 2 recipes that used ricotta. One was a crespelle from one of my favorite local mags, Edible Seattle (not to mention that I already had one from CFANG). And the other was a ricotta cheesecake from one of my favorite bloggers, Ask Chef Dennis.
While I have yet gotten around to making the crespelle, filled with goodies like kale and mushrooms, I was all over making that cheesecake! I didn’t exactly follow his recipe, as I didn’t have mascarpone so I sub’d cream cheese. I also didn’t have any limes (I think this must have been because I have been on a margarita kick lately), so I used lemon. Last alteration I made was to the topping. I used a cup of frozen blackberries from last summer and combined them with a 1/4 cup of sugar and a cup of strawberry compote that I had canned the year before. I cooked them down until they were the right consistency for my liking. I skipped the whipped cream, as by this point I was well over the top of my maximum cheese consumption. While I like cheese, it doesn’t like me. Bummer :(
Ricotta turns out to be surprisingly easy to make. I hope you will give it a try. My only issue now is what do I make with the whey?
Fresh Ricotta Cheese via Canning for a New Generation
1/2 gallon whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, strained
Line a large, fine-mesh sieve with 3 layers of rinsed and squeezed cheesecloth and place it over a very large bowl.
Combine milk, cream, and salt in a heavy sauce pan. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Slowly add lemon juice, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly in one direction, until the solid curds separate from the liquid (clear, yellow whey), about 2 minutes. Pour into the sieve and let drain for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is the thickness you desire. Transfer to an airtight container and chill in the refrigerator. Will keep for several days in the fridge.