How did I get so lucky to have two of my talented friends blog recipes on Cheese and Toast this spring? First Johanne Durocher made Saag Paneer and now my friend Ally Chang (another cheese obsessed cohort) will show you how to make homemade ricotta–it is SO GOOD–especially warm, and Ally also added her ricotta pancake recipe. How good is it to live at her house? Enjoy, SR.
How to make Ricotta Cheese by Ally Chang
Making ricotta cheese is so incredibly easy and it tastes so much better than store-bought too. I have modified a couple of recipes to make it even easier – I like recipes that call for things I have on hand, not specialty items that I have to buy. So if you have milk, cream, salt and lemons you are in cheese making business. We eat some of this warm, fresh ricotta in the morning for breakfast with fresh fruit. I then use the rest to make Lemon Ricotta Pancakes the next day. The pancake actually freeze well so the left-overs go into a Ziplock and into the freezer and I have a quick and easy breakfast option for my kids during the busy weekday mornings.
Bring the following ingredients to a gentle simmer:
1 litre (4 cups) of 3.25% milk (I use organic but you can use non-organic)
1 1/2 cups whole (35%) cream
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp white vinegar
Let this cook for 1 minute and you will see the curds separate from the whey.
After 1 minute, drain the cheese through a cheese cloth (doubled) that has been placed in a colander. Let it sit in the colander to further drain for a few minutes.
Enjoy warm with fruit or let cool then store in a container in the fridge. The next day you can make Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Whisk the following ingredients together:
3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups Red Fife flour (which will add a lovely nuttiness or use all purpose)
2 tsp baking powder
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp sea salt
1 1/4 cups milk
2-3 tsp lemon juice
Then fold in 1 cup of homemade ricotta. Cook pancakes on a medium low heat (you can keep them warm in the oven set at 200). Serve with blueberries and warm maple syrup.
**Ally has also told me that these freeze really well for make-ahead, instant breakfasts.
Originating in Italy, the name “ricotta” comes from the Latin recocta or “recooked,” reflecting the fact that the whey is reheated after being “cooked” once already when separating the curds and whey.Ricotta can be made from sheep’s, cow’s, goat’s or water buffalo’s milk and is a fresh, loose cheese with a mild flavour that can sometimes have a slightly granular texture (ripened and smoked varieties also exist). Some ricottas are made with skim or whole milk, which increases fat content and makes them more moist and creamy. (Like Ally’s recipe)