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When it comes to whipped ricotta, make a lot because once you latch onto this, the little black dress of cheese, you'll soon see how hard it is to actually share.
When it comes to whipped ricotta, make a lot because once you latch onto this, the little black dress of cheese, you'll soon see how hard it is to actually share. Beaten or whipped, ricotta becomes delightfully smooth and fluffy. The end result is creamy, crowd-pleasing, and completely customizable depending on how you intend to use it. It's both rich enough to take the place of creme fraiche in baked dessert tarts and soups, and yet light enough to drizzle with honey and serve alongside fresh fruit for breakfast. Its uses are limited only by your imagination. The batch I am making today will be divided so I can finish off my Elegant Eggplant Napoleons, as well as sneak a little snack in with the remainder over some toasted baguette.
Whipped Ricotta's uses are limited only by your imagination.
Look for a high-quality brand of whole-milk ricotta, without stabilizers if possible. You can whip part-skim milk ricotta, but it won’t be quite as rich and creamy. I use a good brand of ricotta or simply make my own, which is also surprisingly easy, but that's a lesson for another day. I add a scant amount of cream cheese and a couple tablespoons whole milk or light cream for added creaminess. Prepared, whipped ricotta will keep in the refrigerator for several days, although it may separate slightly. To breathe life back into it, simply drain off any liquid and then take a whisk to it.
As an aside, and if you are familiar with smoked finishing salt, I have recently discovered a smoked Chardonnay Oak finishing salt which brings whipped ricotta to an entirely new level. I added the fewest number of grains of this flavor profile to my finished ricotta so that my lemon zest and olive oil would still shine, but combined with the smoked salt, this ricotta was AMAZING and also the first bowl on the snack table that was emptied.
Ingredients for Whipped Ricotta
2 cups whole-milk ricotta
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons whole milk
Place the ricotta and the cream cheese in a food processor with metal blade or a blender and drizzle with the olive oil and 2 teaspoons of the milk (or cream). Season with salt and pepper. Pulse for one minute. Add the lemon juice and the lemon zest. Pulse for one minute more or until silky smooth. The ricotta should be thick but easily spreadable. Scrape down the sides of the container once or twice with a rubber spatula. If you think it’s too thick, stir in another teaspoon of milk. Spoon the luscious whipped layers into a pretty bowl for serving, (a 'rustic' melamine bowl pictured below for poolside entertaining without fear of breakage), and use right away or store in the refrigerator. If refrigerating first, bring to room temperature before serving and garnish with a pinch of smoked salt flakes and a drizzle of olive oil.
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