Making Fresh Ricotta Cheese with the Cheese Academy

Sunday afternoon I met up with another awesome cheese nerd friend, Laura, at Port Plums & Newburyport Olive Oil.

We were there for the Cheese Academy's Fresh Ricotta Cheese class, which was very rewarding. First we watched ricotta cheese made from scratch, and then we got to enjoy all sorts of recipes that can be made using ricotta cheese! We started by taking the freshly made cheese and garnishing it with sun-dried tomatoes and olive oil, and sea salt and lemon zest, which was my favorite.

After a little taste of the ricotta, it was up to our table to get this cheese made! We blended four cups of milk, two cups of heavy cream, and half a teaspoon of kosher salt and brought the whole mix to 195 degrees Fahrenheit while stirring frequently. That's when we added four tablespoons of lemon juice and turned the heat off, letting the whole thing sit for a few minutes (two-five, according to the recipe). At this point, you transfer the mix to a cheese cloth strainer on top of a bowl to catch the whey, and it's ready to go.

Several more courses were served over the course of the evening, all incorporating ricotta cheese. We had ricotta buttermilk waffles to dip in bourbon maple syrup, three cheese Buffalo chicken dip, and tzatziki smoked wild salmon stuffed cucumbers.

Ricotta gnocchi was up next, tossed in white truffle oil and garnished with parmesan cheese, and we finished out the savory courses with creamy ricotta pesto zoodles.

Lemon ricotta squares and ricotta cheesecake topped with strawberry and fig balsamic vinegar started off the sweet section of the menu, and both were delicious!

Sugar free chocolate ricotta mousse topped with balsamic vinegar was up next, and we finished the evening with the creamy and sweet cannoli ice cream.


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