You might remember about a month ago we made homemade mozzarella & we were really surprised with how easy it was. Well, when I saw that this month's Recipe to Rival Challenge was to make homemade ricotta I was thrilled because I knew I could easily do it.
The nice thing about making homemade ricotta is that you don't need any special chemical & the only special equipment is a thermometer & a bit of patience.
(per Lauren at I'll Eat You, who hosted this month's event)
1 gallon milk, you can use 1 percent on up, remember that the more fat in the milk, the more cheese it will yield
1 quart buttermilk
-cheesecloth,a good, tightly woven one, not the kind you buy at the supermarket - If you don't have one of these, you can get by with a slotted spoon, but you may lose some of the cheese. ( I used supermarket cheesecloth & just doubled it. That worked just fine.)
- A collander
Place buttermilk and milk in a pot, heat on med-low heat until it reaches 185 F.
It will begin to separate into curds and whey. Be sure to stir occasionally to make sure no curds stick to the bottom and burn. You will see that as the temperature approaches 185, the whey becomes clearer as the curds coagulate more.
Pour the curds into a cheesecloth lined collander. Tie the ends of the chesecloth together and hang for 10-15 minutes. Remove from cheesecloth and place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week..
This recipe will give you about a pound of cheese. I made 1/4 of it & got 6 oz.
We then had to make something with the ricotta. I had some fabulous Lemon Ricotta Pancakes at Hell's Kitchen a few weeks ago so I decided to try them at home.
They had a wonderful light texture but Matt felt the ricotta should have been broken up finer. I added 1 T more sugar than the recipe called for because a lot of people commented it was too tart. We felt like they actually needed to either be more lemony or sweeter. We served them with thawed frozen raspberries & they wouldn't have been as good without them.
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
(from Bobby Flay)
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/4 t salt
2 T sugar (we used 3)
1 c ricotta cheese (1/4 the above cheese recipe made exactly 1 cup cheese)
1/2 c milk
1 lemon, zested & juiced
butter for the griddle
Whisk together the cheese, eggs, milk, lemon zest & juice. Stir in the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt & sugar just until combined. Melt a little butter on a hot griddle. Pour 1/4 c of batter on the griddle for each pancake. Cook until brown on both sides, flipping once.
Top pancakes with raspberries & a little powdered sugar.
Makes 10 pancakes.