Ricotta Ice Cream… Hold the Cheese

Wait a minute, ricotta cheese… in ice cream? A little strange? Think again. Ricotta cheese is what fills those delicious Italian cannoli. So I was pretty excited to make this ricotta ice cream from Martha Stewart. Her recipe states that it is ricotta gelato but here’s why I don’t make gelato at home.

Ricotta Cheese

I have to say though, it really wasn’t what I built it up to be. The ricotta didn’t blend very well into the milk mixture and the ice cream was somewhat grainy, not very silky smooth like I expect ice cream to be. The problem wasn’t a taste issue, it tasted fine, it was just a texture issue.

The recipe says to cool your custard before mixing in the ricotta. I would rather whip the ricotta until smooth before adding it to your custard and maybe even add the ricotta while the custard is still warm. I suspect this will result in an ice cream that is more creamy. My adapted recipe includes these extra steps even though I didn’t do them myself.

Ricotta Ice Cream

Ricotta Ice Cream
adapted from Martha Stewart

2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
2 cups whole milk
5 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place ricotta to drain in refrigerator overnight in a cloth line mesh strainer over a bowl. Some ricotta cheeses contain more liquid than others, so do not worry if not much liquid drains out.

Bring milk to a simmer over medium heat in a heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

Whisk egg yolks and sugar in medium bowl until smooth. While whisking vigorously, slowly pour warmed milk into eggs. Return custard to saucepan and cook over low heat until thick and coats the back of a spoon, stirring constantly.

Meanwhile, with a whisk or electric blender, beat ricotta until smooth. Remove custard from heat and blend in ricotta, heavy cream and vanilla.

Let chill completely in refrigerator, at least two hours. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturers directions.

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