I know that it sounds incredibly daunting to make your own cheese. Like you would have to be some crazy, hippy lady on a farm somewhere in the middle of nowhere with nothing else to do all day but spend it in the kitchen making homemade ricotta and canning your own farm grown vegetables. (By the way canning can be fun too; don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. But that is for a different post).
But this is seriously so simple and effortless you will make it once and wonder why it has taken so long to come into your life. It is about 100 times more delicious than anything you can buy in a store. Plus you can impress all your friends with the fact that you can MAKE CHEESE because they won’t know that you basically did almost nothing to create such deliciousness. Your secret is safe with me.
So now that you have made your cheese, and managed not to eat all of it while its was draining (a true danger) what should you drink with it? A lot of that will really depend on what you do with it and what other recipe you can incorporate this into. You can add this into all kind of different dishes. Basically any recipe that calls for ricotta use this and you will elevate it to the next level. Any recipe that you have that doesn’t specifically call for ricotta but you think it might go well, use this. But by doing that you have to make sure that you are matching the wine to the whole dish.
That being said, can you eat this plain, straight from the bowl? Yes. Can you eat this smeared on some toasted, crispy bread? Hell yes. And when you do all of those things you should grab a nice hearty red. The creaminess and the fat of this cheese will smooth out those harsh tannins so grab your favorite Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah or Nebbiolo and bask in the glory.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- 3½ cups whole milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Combine the milk, cream, and salt in a heavy bottom pot and attached a candy thermometer to the side. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally so a skin doesn’t form, until the temperatures reach 190°.
- Once your mixture has come up to temperature turn the heat off and stir in the lemon juice. Then let it sit, untouched, for five minutes. The lemon juice is what is going to curdle your milk and create your cheese.
- After the 5 minutes is up pour the mixture into a strainer layered with cheesecloth. Let this sit for at least an hour as the whey drains off. If you would like a little bit of a firmer cheese let it sit for 2 hours.
- This will yield about ¾ cup ricotta, assuming you have enough self-control to not eat it as it is draining.