Fresh and Extra Creamy Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Fresh and Extra Creamy Homemade Ricotta Cheese

I’ve been asked a lot how I make this cheese and here is the answer. The recipe produces very delicate and smooth ricotta. It really matters what kind of dairy you use: organic whole milk and not ultra-pasteurized cream are preferred. I also want to emphasize the importance of timing: do not overheat the milk-cream mixture, and do not let it boil. Otherwise, you will end up with tough and rubbery curd. And, please, remember that the adjective “fresh” is applicable for a couple of days only; so consume the cheese rather soon.

By the way, speaking of fresh cheese. A long time ago I posted my favorite recipe of Russian fresh cheese – tvorog (“kefir cheese” or “farmers’ cheese”) which is made from buttermilk. That one is quite good too, but in a different, very tangy way.

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Fresh Ricotta with Caramelized Pineapple/Banana Topping

I wouldn’t even say it’s a recipe (it’s too simple to be called that); it’s more of a suggestion, one of a hundred possible ways to enjoy fresh cheese. And the cheese has to be fresh. So, either make your own (what I usually do) or buy it from a reputable source. Here, I processed the freshly made ricotta in a food processor to make it smooth and silky, added some lime zest and juice, a bit of sugar, drop of vanilla, pinch of salt. I topped the ricotta with thinly sliced pineapple and banana, brushed with a little bit of melted butter, sprinkled with raw sugar, and caramelized the last with a torch. Simple, indeed, but yet, it makes quite a delicious dessert.

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Focaccia filled with Cheese and Salame (Focaccia con la Ricotta)

There’s something savory for a change; something rustic and delicious in its best Italian simplicity. You can call it a filled focaccia or pie. But either way, the main point remains the same. There are two layers of soft yeasted dough filled with a mixture of ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, and spicy salame. The focaccia could make a perfect lunch, but if you are not allowed to consume a glass of wine during your lunch break, better serve it for dinner with a fresh crispy green salad on the side.

The recipe is adapted from Carol Field’s “Italy in Small Bites”.

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Roasted Strawberry and Thyme Sherbet

And here’s the sherbet I mentioned earlier. It tastes fresh (despite the roasting) and feels creamy (despite the egg yolks absence). I’ve already blogged how much I’m in love with the roasted strawberries. The roasting can turn even grass-like tasting berries into the flavor-bursting ones. I highly recommend it when the strawberries are not in their season’s peak and tasteless.

The sherbet is good on its own or paired with vanilla ice cream (everything goes well with vanilla).

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