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Jumping on the Homemade Ricotta Bandwagon


 Consider this blog post a public-service announcement.  Do you own a colander?  Can you stir?  Read a thermometer?  If you answered yes to these questions you can and should make your own ricotta.  I promise you will never buy ricotta again.  You will also need a candy thermometer---I bought mine at a restaurant supply store, and cheesecloth.  I was a total sucker and bought a reusable cheesecloth at a kitchen store, but you could also just buy a yard of unbleached muslin.  Clean-up is easier than you would think with just a quick soak in hot soapy water and a thorough rinse.

There is a plethora of recipes for homemade ricotta.  My first was a total fail, but only because I tried to make it low-fat, stirred it too much and didn't add salt.  Rubbery and bland.  Use this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. 

If your milk gets a little too hot, say ~200F instead of ~190F, while you are watching You Tube videos of kittens, don't worry.  Your cheese will be fine. 

I drained mine for a little less than an hour.  For my purposes I wanted it a little softer.  It firms up even more in the refrigerator.  I made the 3 cup milk, 1 cup heavy cream version.

Say cheese.  Store in refrigerator, but try to use quickly or it won't really be "fresh" ricotta and you didn't put a crap load of preservatives in it.

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