By Brud Holland
Whole milk ricotta is one of my favorite “filling” cheeses and it’s also one of the easiest to make. This year, I was able to schedule some time to make it up to the Finger Lakes Cheese Festival and offer a demonstration on how to make ricotta with a little twist. Making what I call Extra Creamy Ricotta involves adding a little cream to the whole milk, mostly to help increase the yield but also to make it very creamy.
Makes about 4 cups
Set up a large (6-8 quarts or larger) pot topped with a mesh strainer and line the strainer with fine cheesecloth.
Add the milk, cream and salt into a second large (6-8 quarts or larger) pot. Place on the stovetop on medium-high heat and bring just short of a boil, stirring often so the bottom does not scorch. Reduce the heat to a low simmer.
Add the Verjooz and stir continuously for 1-2 minutes until the mixture curdles.
Pour through the cheesecloth-lined strainer and allow to drain for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on how dry you prefer the ricotta. Pull up the edges of the cheesecloth and tie them with a cotton twine. Refrigerate until cold. Store in a covered container.
Note: For a dryer cheese, hang from a shelf rack in the refrigerator overnight with a small bowl under the cheesecloth as more liquid will drain from the cheese.
Brud Holland is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute and lives in Watkins Glen with his wife Shari and 3 kids. Having been part of the food and wine scene here in the Finger Lakes for 30+ years, he draws on experiences from a wide variety of culinary escapades that include bakery owner, restaurateur, food product developer, teacher, and genuine promoter of all things grown and made in the Finger Lakes.
This recipe is from our dairy-focused Fall 2015 issue.