You definately don’t have to make fresh ricotta to whip up this lil’ snack, but I had the time and I was in the mood to play with my food. Plus I wanted to show you all how easy it is to make fresh ricotta cheese in your own kitchen! I saw this on tv, tried it myself, and I am never going back. (Okay, never say never…)
I have to credit my boyfriend with the second half of this recipe, who has also become my sous chef since moving in together. He suggested adding a piece of speck to the crostini as a bed to the fresh cheese. I’m a lucky girl. It. Was. Amazing. Speck is smoked prosciutto. If you’ve never had it, you should go find some.
We garnished the crostini with lemon zest and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. If it weren’t for the sounds of traffic outside I would have thought I was in Tuscany. Enjoy!
Recipe courtesy Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar, Extra Virgin, 2011
- 4 cups of whole milk
- 3 Tbs lemon juice, plus the zest of one lemon
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 baguette, sliced
- Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- **3 slices of speck, optional
Lay three layers of cheesecloth over a colander.
1. Add the milk to a large heavy pot and place over medium-high heat. Stir in the lemon juice and salt and heat until an instant-read thermometer reaches 175 degrees F. The milk will begin to just bubble and start to steam. At this temperature you’ll begin to see the curds separate from the whey. Be mindful of over stirring the ricotta while the curds are forming, you don’t want to make your ricotta stiff. Let it sit for 5 minutes undisturbed and you will be left with a very creamy and pleasant finished result.
2. Gently remove the curds from the pot to the colander. Use the side of the cheesecloth to very gently release some of the liquid. Tie up the curds using butcher’s twine and let drain for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the cheesecloth and place in a bowl. Serve warm on toasted bread with lemon zest and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.