Do you remember Strawberry Buttermilk Ice Cream, HERE, Or Chocolate-Walnut Fudge Cake, HERE, When we made our own buttermilk using lemon juice (or vinegar, as it were)? Well, homemade ricotta cheese is essentially buttermilk, in that, it begins by using the same process, but is heated to cause a reaction producing more curd (The solids that separate from the whey; liquid). You don't need any particular skill set, I.E. Cooking acumen, an ability to decipher and follow directions, a knack for keeping measurements straight...The latter two of which I'm spectacularly bad at. With only a few ingredients and simple steps, ANYONE can do this.
Add milk, cream, heat, stir, keep stirring, boil. Add lemon juice (or vinegar), stir gently as the curds (solids) separate from the whey (liquid). Remove from heat, cool, drain, done! The whole process takes about ten minutes. That's it.
You do not need any special equipment, like a thermometer. And if you have a fine mesh strainer (Or clean, preferably unused plain white t-shirt), you don't even need the cheesecloth.
Homemade Ricotta Cheese
Recipe Adapted from Eggs On Sunday And Gourmet on Epicurious
Note: I misread the measurements and doubled the amount of heavy cream to 1 cup and the lemon juice to 3 tablespoons, but it was absolutely delicious; creamy and perfect for desserts. This yielded me 2 and 1/4 cups Ricotta cheese. The original source for the recipe says it yielded 1 cup. If your yield is less than the amount needed for the ice cream recipe, simply make up the difference by adding more half and half or milk.
1 quart whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp coarse salt (kosher or sea salt)
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
*This recipe doubles easily.
Place colander or fine mesh strainer over large bowl, line colander with fine mesh cheesecloth. Set bowl aside. In separate small bowl, measure out lemon juice, set aside. In large heavy bottom saucepan, pour in milk, cream and add salt. Turn heat on between medium and high. Allow milk to come to a simmer while stirring consistently. Continue stirring occasionally to prevent the milk from scaling on the bottom of the pan.
When milk begins to come to a gentle (not rolling) boil, add in lemon juice and gently stir as the curds (solids) separate from the whey (liquid). Reduce heat to low and stir gently for another two minutes. Remove pan from heat. Allow to rest and cool for twenty minutes before draining. Once cooled, pour mixture into lined colander that's been placed over bowl. If the liquid that has drained is so much that it has risen and the cheesecloth is sitting in liquid, remove colander from bowl, empty liquid into sink, place colander back into bowl and continue to drain for 1 hour. If your liquid hasn't risen over the cheesecloth, proceed by allowing liquid to drain into bowl for 1 hour.
Note:If your milk starts to boil over, it's okay to remove pan from heat briefly, just until bubbling reduces. Reduce heat to low, add lemon juice and continue to stir gently over heat for two minutes.
Store ricotta in an air tight container for up to two days; refrigerated.
Coffee-Cannoli Ice Cream
Recipes' inspired and Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis And Canela Kitchen Recipes
1 & 3/4 cups homemade ricotta cheese
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup half and half
1 cup coffee simple syrup, recipe below
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 Bourbon Madagascar vanilla bean, Scraped (Optional)
1/2 Cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
In large bowl, whisk together ricotta, milk and cream until completely blended. To this, add in coffee simple syrup, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean caviar. Stir until blended. If you have an emulsion blender, blend this mixture until completely smooth. If not, stir until as smooth as possible. Pour mixture in air tight container and refrigerate until cold. Once mixture is cold, carefully pour into ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturers instructions. During the last 5 minutes of churning, add the chocolate chips. Or reserve for topping.
Coffee Simple Syrup
*Note: I made coffee that was a 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon to 1 cup ratio.
3/4 Cup Coffee
3/4 Cup Sugar
In medium sauce pan, add coffee and sugar. Stir until combined. Over medium heat, bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat between medium and low and simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
This is where I level with you. I