Friday, June 18, 2010

Fresh Ricotta Cheese

I was recently inspired by bell' alimento to try making ricotta cheese from scratch.  She made it look so simple, but I was still a little nervous because it was foreign territory.  I found the experience to be as easy as advertised, and the finished product to be as delicious as I'd hoped!  I used about half my fresh ricotta to make some delicious ravioli, which will be posted as a guest blog post on one of my favorite blogs, RhodeyGirlTests in the coming weeks.  The rest of it, I'm still in the process of enjoying :) Today for my lunch I sliced some French baguette on the bias, lightly toasted it, topped it with mounds of fresh ricotta, fresh chopped peaches, and a drizzle of wildflower honey... swoon!  It was really amazing.  I will probably make the exact same thing for dessert later, and breakfast tomorrow, and devour them until I've used up the rest of my cheese!  What's your favorite thing to do with ricotta cheese?

Fresh Ricotta Cheese
Makes about 2 cups

1/2 gallon whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp. salt
3 T. fresh lime juice

Prepare a sieve lined with fine mesh cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl, set aside.  Put the milk, cream, and salt into a large stockpot and bring it to a boil, stirring constantly.  When it comes to a boil, lower the heat and add the lime juice.  Continue to stir until the mixture curdles, just a minute or two longer.

Strain the mixture in the cheesecloth-lined sieve and allow to drain over the bowl for about an hour until cool.  Discard the liquid in the bowl, and transfer the cheese to a container and put in the refrigerator for another couple hours to chill.  Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.  It is best used within a couple days.


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