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Anne's Recipe - Ricotta - 27 Mar


HOMEMADE FRESH RICOTTA

Watch this fresh, moist Ricotta form right before your eyes!
Literally means "recooked".  A fresh, grainy cheese originally made by heating the whey drained off when making cheeses such as mozzarella and then skimming off the curds that rise to the top.  Ricotta is one of the most versatile of all cheeses.  When completely fresh it is so milky and delicious, with a pinch of salt added you simply want to eat it as it is spread on toast or dolloped over fruit and muesli for breakfast.  Because of it's versatility - there are not too many cheeses which can be used both savoury and sweet.  This recipe makes approx. 300g of delicious lemony Ricotta but does not double easily for the home cook.

1/2 teaspoon citric acid - dissolved in 1/4 cup measured milk
2 litres fresh, traditional full cream milk
juice and shell of 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 metre baby muslin - sterilised

Pour dissolved citric acid into a large saucepan along with remainder of full cream milk.  Stir in lemon juice and add shell.  Heat long and slow to 85degC, making sure to stir often so as not to scorch the milk.  Turn off heat and allow to cool for. 30-45 minutes.  Don't stir.  By this time the milk should have formed a thick layer of very fine curd.
Line a large sieve with a double layer of muslin and place over a colander or saucepan if you want to catch the whey.
Sprinkle over salt then pour in curds and whey.  After initial straining, tie edges of muslin together then suspend Ricotta curds for 3-4 hours.

NOW HOW SIMPLE IS THAT - THE CHEESE IS NOW READY TO CREATE A DELICIOUS DISH !!!
 

CITRUS RICOTTA TART

Pastry: 
1 egg yolk - reserve white
2 tablespoon caster sugar
zest 1 small lemon
1 tablespoon chilled water
2 cups flour
150g chilled butter - cubed   
2 tablespoons chilled water - extra - this will depend on egg size

In a small bowl, mix together yolk, sugar, zest and water.  Set aside.  Using a food processor, place in bowl, the flour and butter.  Process until crumbly.  Add egg yolk combo and continue processing until a soft ball is formed.  Extra chilled water may need to be added.  Don't over process.  Turn out onto a lightly floured board.  Roll out to fit a 25cm loose based, flan tin.  Chill for 30 minutes while filling is being made.
 
Filling:
1/2 cup castor sugar
approx. 300g Homemade Fresh Ricotta
3 large eggs - lightly beaten
zest 1 small lemon and 1/2 orange
2 tablespoons mixed peel
1/2 cup slivered almonds
icing sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 200degC.  Using a large bowl, mix together sugar and Ricotta.  Gradually stir in eggs, then lemon and orange zest plus peel.  Mix well.  Brush pastry case with lightly beaten egg white then spread filling evenly into flan case.  Sprinkle over almonds.  Cook low in oven for 15 minutes reduce temperature to 180degC and continue cooking for a further 35-40 minutes or until filling is set.  You may need to shield the top to prevent burning towards end of cooking time.  Enjoy warm dusted with icing sugar.  Bon appetite.
 

PASTA SHELLS WITH WALNUT - RICOTTA SAUCE

A quick, easy Tuscan dish, the sauce for which can be prepared while pasta is cooking.

Approx. 300g Fresh Homemade Ricotta
1/4 cup good extra virgin olive oil
juice 1/2 lemon
generous handful parsley - finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon each salt and ground pepper
250g pasta shells
25g butter
1/4 teaspoon each salt and ground pepper - extra
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 cup walnuts pieces - toasted
1/4 cup freshly torn basil leaves - tightly packed

Place Ricotta into a mixing bowl, toss through olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper.  Set aside.
Cook pasta shells in plenty of salted water until al dente.  Using a sieve, drain.  To the pasta saucepan, melt butter until bubbly, return pasta.  Toss with extra salt, pepper and lemon pepper plus Ricotta mixture.  Add walnuts and basil.  Toss again.  Enjoy immediately.


 


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