Fresh Ricotta with Lemon Zest & Honey

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We recently had some delicious fresh ricotta at Wright & Co.  It was gently seasoned with lemon and had a layer of honey on top. Fresh, juicy figs were served alongside.  I knew that this dish was something I had to make at home. Turns out it was easier to copy than I first thought.  The first step was to find a good ricotta recipe. The first one I tried where you bring the milk and cream to a boil, remove from heat, and add lemon juice and stirred- produced no curds. I then tried this recipe from Anne Burrell which worked perfectly. The next step was to flavor it. I found the zest of one lemon was perfect. Next, just a little honey stirred in to make it a bit sweet, then a layer of honey on top, which smears into the ricotta and bread when you spread it on. This was my first attempt at making ricotta, although I have made paneer in the past, and the process was very similar. Just some curdled milk that you strain the solids out of.  I will be making this a lot more often to have in the fridge to serve with snacks, fruit, or to have for desserts or lemon-ricotta pancakes.

ricotta recipe from: Anne Burrell
serves: 2-4

3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
zest of one lemon
honey
fruit
toasts

In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, heavy cream, vinegar and salt. Place the pan over medium heat and slowly bring the milk mixture to a simmer. Simmer the milk mixture for 1 to 2 minutes, you will see curds begin to form. I found the curds formed better when I did not stir much.

Line a mesh strainer with several layers of damp cheesecloth. Gently pour the curds and whey into the cheesecloth-lined strainer and let drain for 15 minutes, or up to an hour. I just put it into the fridge until I was ready for it.

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When done straining, scoop the ricotta into a medium mixing bowl. Stir in the zest of one lemon and enough honey to make it a little bit sweet. Put the ricotta into a small serving dish or earless mug and smooth the top. Drizzle enough honey on top to make a thin layer.

This is best served with figs, (but since those are no longer in season I substituted blackberries) and cinnamon-raisin and/or baguette toasts.

* I halved the original ricotta recipe, so my recipe is best for 2 people. I would make the full recipe for more than two people, or just to have some extra in the fridge!

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