Birthdays & Fresh Ricotta Cheese : FIG AND FAUNA

Birthdays & Fresh Ricotta Cheese

by fig + fauna farm on 08/13/12

August is the month of good heavy rains that I more than love falling asleep to. It's the warmest weather of the year - my kind of ode to salty skin and sun dresses. I also share a birthday with my daughter on this special summery month. For our occasions, we decorated the house with chicken feather garland draped in the windows and a bowl of stone fruits that quickly dissappeared. Between cakes, tacos and tarts, we made fresh ricotta. It's a home made item that is so simple and rewarding, that I begin to wonder why I've ever purchased it pre-made. Have you made it? It's so easy, I promise...


Will you try it and tell me how deliciously easy it is? Here's my current favorite ricotta recipe idea list...

David Lebovitz makes an Herbed Ricotta Tart

Ricotta Gnocchi on La Tartine Gourmande

Bon Appetite talking about Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Mitchell Beazly's Herbed Ricotta Dip


Makes 2 cups

You will need:

  • 1/2 gallon whole milk ( I use goats milk)
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice or vinegar

Line a colander with a clean cheesecloth.

In a large pot, combine milk, cream and sea salt over medium heat. Stir occasionally to prevent milk from scorching on the bottom of the pot. When the milk reaches a boil, turn the heat to simmer and gradually stir in the lemon juice or vinegar. Stir continuously while the curds separate - for about two minutes. Remove from heat and strain in the cheesecloth lined colander. The yellow strained liquid is the whey and can be refrigerated for later cooking or baking.

Bring together the side of the cheesecloth and tie around the long handle of a wooden spoon. Allow the cheesecloth sack drip until liquid is gone - about an hour. Remove from cheesecloth and use within two days. Refrigerate if you do not plan to use it right away.

Comments (25)

1. Monica Bennett said on 8/13/12 - 11:09AM
Wow! So easy -- I never knew . . . until now :) Thank you and happy belated birthday! xoxo
2. Niru said on 8/13/12 - 03:41PM
I never gave a thought to making cheese at home. Thank you for sharing. In India, we use a similar process of hanging to make a yogurt desert.
3. Mommy Lisa said on 8/14/12 - 03:45AM
Okay - now I need to do that for my next lasagna. Can you freeze it?
4. fig + fauna said on 8/14/12 - 11:05AM
Monica ~ thank you! Niru ~ Ohh I'm interested in that dessert recipe..what is it called? Mommy Lisa ~ I've been told that you can freeze homemade ricotta. Just be aware that it may be a bit more dry after it defrosts because it will loose some water. If that happens, you can throw it in the processor with some cream and you are good to go.
5. ambika said on 8/14/12 - 05:39PM
the photography on here always blows me away. i just love the aesthetic of your blog, truly! quick question--those feather/streamers are simply beautiful, i would love to hang something like that in my bedroom, but with real feathers not store bought! do you by any chance sell them? on etsy or anything? either way, such a creative and beautiful idea for decor :) cheers from nyc!
6. petra said on 8/14/12 - 11:03PM
Great post! Love the look.
7. fig + fauna said on 8/15/12 - 07:04AM
Ambika ~ thank you! Funny you should ask about the feathers - I am planning a pop up shop very soon and you may find our feathers there :) Stay tuned!
8. ambika said on 8/15/12 - 02:59PM
wonderful!! cannot wait to see the shop :)
9. Niru said on 8/15/12 - 04:37PM
The Indian desert I mentioned above is called Shrikhand, made from yogurt. Its very easy to make and delicious to eat. Shrikhand - Indian hung-yogurt desert You will need: yogurt, sugar, freshly ground cardamom powder, and optional - any fruit of your choice (preferably ripen mango or any sweet berry) and few mint leaves. Directions: 1. Hang yogurt overnight in a cool place to drain excess liquid. For this, we follow the same procedure of straining in a piece of clean muslin or cheesecloth. 2. Untie the bundle in the morning and collect the thick yogurt in a bowl, add sugar and powdered cardamom and whisk with a ladle (using your hand) until sugar melts and the mixture turns smooth. Let cool in the refrigerator. 3. Mix in the fruit of your choice (optional) 4. Serve garnished with mint leaves (optional) and a faint dusting of cardamom. Hope you'll enjoy a bit of India in a bowl on your kitchen table.
10. Bren said on 8/15/12 - 11:17PM
Happy Birthday to you two!! Who knew that it was that easy to make Ricotta, in fact easy enough for me to have a go making a batch - thank you. We're heading into spring here and my favourite salad is ricotta, fresh peaches and rocket all torn up so it would be terrific if I could make my own. Wish me luck!!....B:)
11. fig + fauna said on 8/16/12 - 03:21AM
Niru & Bren ~ Thank you for your recipes, you've now inspired me!
12. Christine said on 8/16/12 - 10:44AM
miam ça donne envie
13. thecitygourmand said on 8/18/12 - 03:47AM
oh wow, looks spectacular...inspiring stuff!
14. Chloe said on 8/18/12 - 05:26AM
Happy, happy birthday to the two of you! Your feather garland is quite lovely. Such soft colors. As always it's so good to hear from you.
15. Chloe said on 8/18/12 - 05:41AM
And also...what can the whey be used for? I'm curious!
16. Sherilyn @ Wholepromise said on 8/19/12 - 12:12AM
Ricotta definitely needs cream added. I love the thought of this delightful tart not to mention the beautiful photos... So glad I dropped by this evening.
17. Vanessa said on 8/19/12 - 08:52AM
i love the feathers!
18. Grandma said on 8/19/12 - 01:57PM
I just made my first batch! EASY and ohhhh so good! I accidentally added extra lemon- love the flavor! Now, on to making the lasagna! So much cheaper than what I buy in the store and so much better!
19. Elizabeth Sniegocki @ said on 8/21/12 - 02:33AM
Ooooh I love that garland. I've been collecting feathers for years, and making a garland out of some is top of my list for fall crafting - beautiful inspiration to get started! Maybe even for my own birthday decorations (next week!)... Funny, my nephew and I have birthdays just a couple days apart and we often share our celebration. Just the other day, we decided on tacos & cake for this year's meal. We're on the same vibe, mama!
20. fig + fauna said on 8/23/12 - 11:44PM
Chloe ~ I'm glad you asked! Here's one of my favorite things to do with whey. But, if you search out whey recipes, you'll find they can be used in bread making or many cultured items! enjoy
21. fig + fauna said on 8/23/12 - 11:45PM
Elizabeth ~ We are def on the same vibe! Can't wait to see your garland :)
22. Lidia said on 9/4/12 - 08:16AM
I'm not into spending too much time in the kitchen but I had to try and make Ricotta. Thanks for inspiring me to go outside my comfort zone, it was so good!! One question, how do you use the whey? I didn't know what to do with it. (like I said, I don't spend too much time in the kitchen)
23. fig + fauna said on 9/4/12 - 02:49PM
Lidia ~ Thanks for the update! My smile is so big, knowing that you tried it and enjoyed it! You can look above at Chloe's response. I've listed a whey soda drink, but there are also MANY baking dishes you can make with it if you research that on the web. Best!
24. allie said on 9/14/12 - 08:23AM
Ricotta does look easy enough to attempt. I think I'll give it a go as a surprise for my husband upon his returns from a work trip this weekend. I adore those garlands. Our last name is Finch, & I'm enamored with the idea of collecting & hanging feathers. Do you mind sharing how you made them & secured the feathers?
25. fig + fauna said on 10/26/12 - 06:03PM
Allie ~ Hi! Hope your ricotta turned out great! I secured the feathers by poking a needle and thread through the base of the feather, then I made a knot and tied the thread to the garland string. Hope that helps!

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