Our last day of class was last week and so this week is all about writing papers and chilling out as much as possible. Western's semester is only thirteen weeks and it feels pretty short compared to IU's fifteen. My first paper, an interpretation of Walter Benjamin's German-Jewish philosophy in the opera Shadowtime by Brian Ferneyhough, was due on April 6th. My next, a contextual, transformational analysis of Ligeti's piano etude "Arc-en-Ciel," isn't due until Friday, the 16th (doesn't music theory sound boring? It really isn't, at least not to me...thank God). Since it's almost done anyways, I thought now might be a good time to get back in touch with our blog.
And I thought the way to ease back in would be to show you a recipe I made about a month ago for homemade ricotta cheese.
It feels like a lot has happened since I made this cheese. The snow left completely, I bought sandals, health care passed, I sang a solo for Holy Saturday at church. You know. Big stuff. Especially the sandals.
This is what it looked like mid-boil. It didn't have enough boiling and clumping at first, so I added more lemon juice and that seemed to fix everything.
Ricotta is only one thing I learned this year that I wasn't expecting to. It turns out, I can do math, I've adjusted to milk in bags, I can make homemade cheese AND tortilla chips (!), and my research has a lot more to do with religion that I would have expected.
I know I made a big fuss on Facebook about not being able to find cheese cloth (it was surprisingly hard to find, like a lot of things in a Canadian grocery...coconut milk? Charcoal? Maple Syrup that doesn't cost $12?!). I actually could have made this with just the strainer, or our other, finer strainer. But it was nice to give it a good, final, squeeze in the cheese cloth before putting it away.
This ricotta was easy and delicious! We made a lot of stuff with it, and I ate a lot of it with berries or other fruit, both for breakfast and dessert.
The recipe I made is posted below. I recommend reading the linked post, since the author included a lot of helpful tips and her own experiences. This recipe makes about 1 cup of ricotta. I doubled it easily.
from Eggs on a Sunday
1 quart whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp coarse salt (kosher or sea salt)
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
Combine the milk, cream, and salt in a heavy saucepan. Separately, line a colander with cheesecloth and set it in a large bowl. Measure out the lemon juice and set it aside.
Bring the milk mixture to a simmer over medium high heat, stirring occasionally with a spatula to prevent scalding. Once the mixture has reached a steady simmer, add the lemon juice and stir gently with the spatula — quickly, just to blend. Let the mixture sit for about 1 minute, turning down the heat slightly so it stays at a simmer but doesn’t reach a hard, rolling boil. Stir with the spatula after about 1 minute, then let it sit another minute until it looks like most of the liquid has separated into curds and whey.
Drain the mixture into the cheesecloth-lined colander set over a bowl, and let it drain at room temperature for 1 hour. Transfer the ricotta to an airtight container and refrigerate.
Makes about 1 cup.