Prepare this versatile cheese to eat on its own or use as an ingredient in another dish.
(Recipe Courtesy: Marc Matsumoto from the Fresh Tastes blog)
Yield: 1 1/2 cups of ricotta
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon citric acid
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- In a small non-reactive bowl, mix the water and citric acid until the granules are dissolved.
- Pour the milk, cream and salt into a heavy bottomed pot and whisk in half of the citric acid mixture until well combined.
- Heat the pot over medium heat, stirring regularly, until it reaches 165 degrees F. You should start seeing some small grains of curd forming. If there is no curd, add more of the citric acid a bit at a time until you start to see curds forming. Be careful not to add too much, otherwise your ricotta will taste sour.
- Once the curds have started to form, turn down the heat and stop mixing. Disturbing the mixture prevents the curds from forming, but you need to lower the heat to keep it from burning to the bottom of the pan.
- Continue heating the mixture until it reaches 195 degrees F, and then turn off the heat. Let this rest for 15 minutes.
- You should now have a thick layer of curd floating on the surface.
- Use a screened ladle to scoop the curd into a paper towel lined sieve. If everyting has gone well, you should be left with a translucent yellow liquid, which is the whey. You can save it for something else, or toss it.
- Let the ricotta strain over a bowl until it reaches your desired consistency. The longer you let it drain the dryer and more crumbly it will become. The author recommends only letting it drain for a few minutes to achieve a creamy ricotta.