There are foods that I relent to making from scratch, taking hours to carve a meal out of whole ingredients. Hours spend on homemade pasta, breads, pie dough and sauces. The extra time is more than worth it for real food, feed to those I love from the earth, to my hands to the table.
And then there are things that take so little time and effort, I am amazed that it took me so long to start making them from scratch.
Like whipped cream, tortillas and ricotta.
The active time on this recipe is so little, and the reward is so great, I will never buy it again. No special equipment or difficult to find ingredients. No extensive aging times or unusual techniques. Just a few simple ingredients and a stove.
Spread it on bread and top with fresh vegetables.
Make homemade ricotta ice cream.
You might need to make a double batch.
This is recipe that needs a wheat beer. The citrusy breadyness comes through in really great way. I used Colete By Great Divide. The flavors were perfect for this ricotta and lent themselves well to either sweet or savory recipes using the cheese.
I was grateful that I bought a six pack, this is a beer that will make it’s way in my normal drinking and cooking rotation.
Homemade Beer Ricotta
3 cups whole milk (do not use Ultra-Pasterized, it won’t work)
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup Saison beer, Plus 2 tbs divided
3 tbs Apple Cider Vinegar (you can also use lemon juice, or a combination of the two)
Makes about 1 1/4 cups
In a pot over medium high heat (do not use an aluminum pan) add the milk, cream, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/3 cup beer.
Clip a cooking thermometer onto the side of the pan.
Bring the liquid to 190 degrees, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom from scorching. Keep a close eye on it, the liquid reaches and passes 190 very quickly and you don’t want it rising above 200.
Remove from heat, add the 2 tbs beer and then the vinegar (or lemon juice) and stir gently once or twice. It should curdle immediately. Allow to sit undisturbed for about 5 minutes.
Line a large strainer with 1 or 2 layers of cheese cloth, place the strainer in the sink over a large bowl.
Pour the ricotta into the strainer and allow to drain for 15 to 30 minutes and up to an hour.
After 15 minutes you will have a smooth creamy spreadable cheese. As you continue to allow it to drain, it will become more and more firm. It will also continue to firm once it is chilled, remove it from the strainer before it reaches the firmness level you want as it will continue to firm up in the fridge.
Place in an air tight container and store in the fridge.