Have you ever had ricotta cheese and thought, “Eww, this is grainy, tasteless, and just plain disgusting!”? Well, me too, and I’m Italian! Those thoughts could have me swimming with the fishes, if you know what I mean.
When I was a kid my family was always in the kitchen whipping up savory and sweet masterpieces, but I never really liked ricotta cheese. In fact, I used to hate it as much as I do kale chips (sorry, they will never replace the kettle cooked potato varieties). Fast forward a “few” years and I now am eating my Fool-Proof Ricotta on toasted Italian bread, crackers, or even by the spoonful!
My recipe is simple, has very few ingredients, and can even be made with all organic ingredients. It is full of sweet flavor but has the lightest texture you have ever tasted. Serve my Fool-Proof Ricotta as a hors d’oeurve with fresh honey comb and basil leaves, as a filling for lasagna, or even make it into a ricotta cheesecake. Mangia!
Ingredients (makes 1½ cups)
Whole Milk – 4 cups
Heavy Cream – 2 cups
Sea Salt – ½ teaspoon
Lemon Juice – ¼ cup, freshly squeezed
In a large sauce pan set over medium-high heat add the milk, cream, and sea salt.
Allow the liquid to come to a full boil, then remove it from the heat and add the lemon juice. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
In the meantime, line a fine mesh sieve with 6 layers of damp cheesecloth. Then set it over a very large bowl.
After 5 minutes, pour the milk mixture into the cheesecloth and allow the cheese to drain for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator. During the draining time, fold the ends of the cheesecloth in onto itself and gently press to expel excess liquid, do this at least 4 times. This will ensure you end up with an extremely luxurious and creamy ricotta.
Scrap the cheese from the sides of the cheesecloth and transfer it into a serving bowl. You can also place it into an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Note: Depending on the size of the bowl, you may have to empty the liquid a few times during draining.