Saturday, October 17, 2009

By popular demand - Tomato-Fresh Ricotta Pie Recipe

The recipe from Mrs. Headless for her Tomato-Fresh Ricotta Pie is something like this.

1 partially baked pie shell (Mrs. Headless used a 10-1/2" tart pan)

1 recipe of homemade ricotta (see below)
2 eggs
1/2 container of Brennan's Mozzarella & Basil Cheese Spread (you can use a different cheese spread or 1 cup of shredded cheese)

Mix the eggs and cheese spread into the hot ricotta to melt and evenly distribute.

1 chopped garden fresh heirloom tomato (Mrs. H used a Brandywine)
1/2 pound bacon, cooked until crisp then crumpled
Homemade croutons (Mrs. Headless cooked these in the bacon grease)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Assembly & Baking:
Assemble ingredients in pie shell and bake in a 350 degree oven until warmed through, about 30 minutes.

That's how she did it. I'm sure your variation will be fabulous, too.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

I quart whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 scant tsp coarse salt
2 TBSP white vinegar

Line a strainer with a double layer of dampened cheesecloth and set it over a large bowl.

Rinse a large saucepan with cold water (for easier cleanup). Pour milk and cream into saucepan and add the salt. Bring to simmer over medium heat; a skin may form on the surface. Continue to cook until you see bubbles all over the surface.

When the milk is simmering, turn off the heat and pour in the vinegar. Leave it alone for about 1 minute, then stir slowly and gently. The milk will start separating into curds and whey; you are looking for the whey to become clearish, which will take about 1 minute of gentle stirring.

Pour into strainer. Lift the strainer out of the bowl and pour out the whey from the bowl. Then set the strainer back in the bowl and let the cheese drain for 15 minutes.

The ricotta is now ready to use or serve.

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