I made ricotta cheese for the first time this week.
I was nervous about it.
What is wrong with me? I mean, who gets nervous about cheese???
Anyway, it was a smashing success.
"It was stupid-easy," according to Paula Deen.
Now that I know how easy it is to make and how delicious the results are, I'll probably never purchase ricotta cheese again.
Basically, you boil milk and cream, stir in some vinegar, let it sit to curdle, then strain it so you're just left with the curds. Piece of cake. Well, actually, piece of cheese, but I guess that's just an expression.
And bring it to a boil. I know you're not supposed to boil milk and cream, but go with it.
As soon as it comes to a full boil, turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar.
Allow it to sit for about a minute.
Now it's time to pour it into our paper towel-lined colander.
The whey (liquid) will collect pretty quickly in the bowl. I had to dump out the whey twice while the cheese strained.
I allowed mine to sit for 20 minutes and it was a nice consistency: thick but not too thick; moist but not too runny. Perfect.
Put it into a container and stick it in the refrigerator.
While it was still warm, it looked odd to me. I wasn't sure it was going to turn out.
But, I checked on it the next day and realized that it needs to chill completely to actually look like ricotta cheese.
Now for the Asparagus Tart that I made using fresh ricotta cheese...
Fresh Ricotta Cheese
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa
7 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
5 T white vinegar
Place a colander over a large bowl and line the colander with two layers of paper towels.
Stir together the milk, cream and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a full boil.