When a friend of mine shared his recipe for homemade ricotta, I was wondering why anyone would take the time and effort to make his own cheese. Why not just buy it at the store and save yourself the trouble? But I was curious and decided to give it a try. And it is infinitely better!! On the plus side, making ricotta is very simple. It is so much better than the store bought version, it’s really light and fluffy, and you can infuse is with herbs to match your dish. You can even adjust the consistency of the ricotta by using heavy cream of just whole milk. You’re the chef, you decide!
- 2 small sprigs rosemary
- zest of 1 organic lemon
- 2 litres whole milk (or replace up to 1/4 of the milk with heavy cream if you want a much richer ricotta)
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- Line a large sieve with a layer of fine-mesh cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl.
- Combine milk (and cream), lemon zest, rosemary and salt in a large sauce pan. Heat at medium heat for about 15 minutes. Do not let it boil, keep the temperature around 70°C. Then remove the lemon zest and rosemary.
- Now heat the milk up to 95°C, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching and add the lemon juice.
- Then reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture curdles, about 2 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and let it rest for 10 minutes or so.
- Carefully pour the curds and whey into the lined sieve, allowing excess whey to drain into the bowl beneath it. Do not press the curds.
- Pull up on the sides of the cheesecloth and tie the pouch closed. Allow the curds to drain for at least 30 minutes.
Rosemary and lemon infused ricotta goes wonderfully well on toasted seed bread, with some blue grapes, toasted pine nuts and finely chopped rosemary on top.