Newsletter - September 2015
Cheese of the Month
Goat'a Milk Ricotta
We just won a Blue Ribbon at the American Cheese Society for our Goat's Milk Ricotta!!
Our award-winning Fresh Ricotta is made the traditional way -- from the whey of our mozzarella curds. But just what does this mean? When we make our Mozzarella we coagulate the milk by adding selected bacteria (called cultures) and rennet (an enzyme that reacts with the lactic acid that is produced by the milk) so that our milk soon resembles a vat of white jello or yoghurt. Once the milk is coagulated we pull cheeses knives (actually frames stretched with stainless steel wires) through the coagulated milk to cut the curd into soft, little pieces. Immediately upon being cut, a cloudy yellow liquid called whey begins to come out of the curds. Because milk is mostly liquid, eventually there is a lot of yellow whey and a smaller amount of curds. When the curds are mature we stretch them with hot water to become Fresh Mozzarella. Simultaneously we drain off the whey and heat it. When the whey is almost boiling, we add an acid that precipitates the remaining solids in the whey. This is evidenced when soft, white frothy curds of Ricotta float to the top of the vat of hot whey. We use perforated ladles to scoop these curds into basket molds imported from Italy. After draining overnight, the baskets are inverted and we have heavenly cakes of Ricotta that weigh about 3 lbs each. We make both cow's milk and goat's milk Ricotta.
Our Ricotta is very low in fats and calories and a wonderful cheese for cooking or just eating: for breakfast or dessert drizzled with honey and sprinkled with cinnamon or toasted nuts or as a savory dish drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkled with black peppercorns or fresh herbs. And did you know that ... the name Ricotta means "recooked" in Italian because the whey from the Mozzarella curds is reheated and a secondary cheese is produced. And it is very nutritious and good for you!
Recipe of the Month
Cinnamon Ricotta Sobet
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 cinnamon sticks
12 ounces ricotta (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/3 cups Simple Syrup
For the Simple Syrup, combine the water, sugar, and light corn syrup in a saucepan. Stir the mixture and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and stir until the sugar dissolves completely. Remove from heat and add the cinnamon sticks to the syrup. Set aside to cool.
For the Ricotta Sorbet, process the ricotta in the workbowl of a food processor until it liquefies. Remove the cinnamon sticks from the syrup, add the syrup to the ricotta, and pulse to combine. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve or chinoise. Refrigerate until very cold. Pour into an ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacture directions. Process to "soft-serve" consistency. Remove from the ice cream machine and place the mixture in a metal container, place in the freezer, and let freeze.