Homemade Ricotta

Ohh ricotta. I could eat it every day, smothered on toast or with strawberries and sugar, mixed into a simple pasta sauce or tossed with salad. The first time I ever made ricotta was a couple of years ago and believe me, it sounds impressive, but it's dead simple. You basically bring a pan of milk and cream to boil, and then let it drain for a couple of hours. That's it! As long as you have a couple of hours on your hands and some cheesecloth, you are pretty much set to go. Other ricotta recipes I have made used only whole milk, rather than a combination of milk and cream (the traditional manner), but I actually think that this recipe came out much creamier and produced a lot more curds as well. Fresh Ricotta (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

3 cups whole milk

1 cup cream

Juice of 1 lemon

1 baguette, thinly sliced

Honey

Heat milk and cream in a large saucepan. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, and heat to 190 degrees, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Let sit for five minutes.

Line a colander with cheesecloth and place over a large bowl. Pour in milk mixture, and let drain, 1 hour for runnier cheese and two hours for firmer cheese (what I did). Discard the whey and transfer to a container. Store, covered, for 3-4 days.

To serve: preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool. Spread 1-2 tablespoons of ricotta on each slice, then drizzle with honey. Serve immediately.