It was a cool day at the lake today, so we headed to The Berry Patch in Etna Green, Indiana for blueberry picking. This jam became the perfect highlight of this colorfully festive blueberry and ricotta crostini which can be made in less than 30 minutes from beginning to end. Add a strawberry or raspberry for an additional color and you have a perfect snacketizer for the 4th of July.
Ingredients: (this makes about 3/4 cups jam when cooked)
2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 T lemon juice
Heat all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently until thickened. You know its ready when is starts to stick to the spoon and your toddler is screaming that he wants some NOW!
For the crostini, simply broil some slices of french bread in the oven. Then get creative with decorating with ricotta cheese, blueberry jam, and your red berry of choice.
There’s something I’ve been wanting to say: I am now over 50 posts into a food blog and have avoided using the word “yummy.” It is on my list of most hated words for adults to use. Now that I got that out of the way, I’m excited to share this ricotta technique with you.
Making fresh ricotta is so easy that it makes me wonder why EVERYONE isn’t making their own ricotta. So far, I’ve enjoyed it on fresh ciabatta with honey and on homemade pizza with eggplant. Other ways I plan on trying (recipes to follow throughout the season):
- with mint and spring vegetables on pasta,
- in pancakes,
- in lasagna,
- by the spoonful…
If you have an interesting way to prepare ricotta, please forward your recipe!
I learned this technique at Peter Berley’s cooking weekend in February, and the picture below is from his beautiful kitchen on the North Fork.
The milk and cream are from Ronnybrook Farm’s stand at the Grand Army Plaza farmer’s market on Saturday morning. It was exciting to see the market in full bloom. My lack of posts recently is a direct result of being less than inspired the past few weeks by what’s available in Brooklyn in March/early April. As Barbara Kingsolver puts it, we’re just “waiting for asparagus.” I guess I’ll just eat a whole lot of cheese until then.
1/2 gallon whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Bring milk and cream to a boil, stirring often to prevent scorching. Once it boils, it will get really big–so use a large pot.
2. Once boiling, add lemon and salt, and reduce heat to a simmer. Curds will form within 2-3 minutes (it’s magic, really).
3. Once the curds form, remove from heat and ladle the curds into the cheesecloth to strain. You should put the cheesecloth over a colander which is over a bowl. I learned that what’s dripping out is whey, and you can use it for watering the plants.
4. Allow the ricotta to strain for a while. Then, chill in the fridge.
Really, that’s all.