Smoked ricotta

Smoked ricotta

By
From
Finding Fire
Makes
500 g

The beauty of ricotta lies in its creamy versatility. It can be used in both sweet and savoury applications, has a variable texture (either soft or firm) and can be served fresh or cooked. Originally a by-product from cheesemaking (ricotta means ‘recooked’), ricotta is an Italian whey cheese that dates back to the Bronze Age.

There are several types of ricotta, including, most interestingly, a smoked (affumicata) ricotta that is made by smoking it over oak, beech or chestnut wood until it develops a grey crust.

To make a soft creamy cheese, this recipe smokes the milk first, which also ensures a delicate harmony between the flavour of the wood and the flavour of the milk.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
750ml jersey milk
125ml Smoked cream
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
sea salt
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

Method

  1. 1. In a large saucepan, combine the smoked jersey milk and smoked cream. Heat to 90°C (195°F), gently stirring to prevent scorching.
  2. 2. Remove from the heat and add the fresh lemon juice. Immediately stir once to combine the lemon juice and then stop. Stirring too much will result in smaller and very granular curds in the ricotta.
  3. 3. Leave to sit for 10–15 minutes to allow the curds to separate from the whey.
  4. 4. Carefully transfer the curds and whey to a fine-mesh sieve lined with muslin (cheesecloth) placed over a bowl.
  5. 5. Leave to drain for at least 2 hours. Check the texture of the ricotta, which should be creamy. Retain the whey for other uses, such as in baking, dressings, brines and pickles.
  6. 6. Before serving, season with salt as desired, finishing with fresh lemon zest and juice.

NOTES

  • Although best enjoyed the day it is made, fresh ricotta will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

    The whey will also keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator or for up to 6 months in the freezer.
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