,I live in a very Italian neighbourhood, and my local market makes the most outrageously good ricotta cheese. The thickest, creamiest, most glorious ricotta I’ve ever had. It’s so good.
It’s also $12.00 for 500mL. The deliciously is directly linked to the price tag.
I have made a lot of ricottas in my life. Sometimes for restaurants, sometimes for home, and it’s always good. It is. But it’s never as good as the kind I can buy at the market. So I gave up for a while, I didn’t want to go through the trouble. I forked over the cash when I had a craving.
The trouble, is that to fully appreciate ricotta you have to eat it at room temperature, or slightly warmer. When it has just been made, slathered on good bread, and dipped in olive oil and sprinkled generously with maldon salt- it is the best and simplest snack ever. Put a salad beside it and you’ve got a downright brilliant lunch.
So I started experimenting with recipes, trying to make one as good as the Italian brand down the street, but that I could make at home and then eat while warm. Ricotta isn’t hard to make, you just bring some milk to a boil, add in some lemon, stir it until it occurs, and strain it. It’s a funny thing really, because traditionally ricotta is made by reboiling the whey of other cheeses, the whey of course being nearly completely fat free (the word ricotta literally means twice cooked), but ricotta is ever so much more delicious when you add in fat.
A lot of recipes call for 1 litre of milk and one cup of cream, but I add just a half cup more cream, and it makes a world of difference. Such a difference in fact, that I prefer it to the store bought kind down the street that costs twice as much. Small miracles my friends, small miracles.
1 litre Whole Milk (or homogenized)
1 1/2 cups Whipping Cream
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 1/2 tsp Salt
Line a large sieve with cheesecloth
Bring the milk and cream to a roaring boil.
Add in the lemon juice and stir, still over the heat, until thick curds have formed.
Pour the liquid into the prepared sieve, put the sieve over a bowl and allow to cool at room temperature for about an hour. You can make it a bit thicker by letting it sit longer if you’d like.
Remove the cheese from the cloth, and serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.