Saturday, August 02, 2008

Ricotta torte with squash, corn and dill

I was excited to see a recipe at 101 Cookbooks a couple of days ago for zucchini ricotta cheesecake. It looked so good! With more than a gallon of Cutie's milk, I knew I could make enough ricotta for it.

This time I used a heavier pot. For curdling, I used two cups of buttermilk, which is half the proportion I've seen called for, but that's what I had. Half of the milk had been frozen, too. Would it work? Call it another experiment.

I stopped stirring early on, except to occasionally run a spatula gently across the bottom. It seemed to be taking a long time, but just as I was despairing, boom, it curdled.
I didn't measure anything this time, so I couldn't tell you how much this made, but it seemed like, I dunno, three cups' worth? Maybe four?

While the ricotta was draining, I grated half a squash. I don't know what kind it was, but it was zucchinilike (there's a photo of it in this post.). I don't think it's a kabocha like they said, but maybe it is. I added the kernels from three ears of corn. Tossed with a little salt and let sit to leach out some liquid.

Once the ricotta was drained I mixed it with half a cup of shredded parmesan, a large minced shallot and garlic clove, the zest of a lemon, and a whole bunch of fresh dill from Wilkerson's Produce. Mixed in two well-beaten eggs.

Since I had the cheesecloth out, I just reused it to squeeze out the juice from the squash and corn, then added them to the ricotta mixture and spread the whole thing in a greased springform pan.

Baked it at 325 for an hour, then topped it with crumbled goat cheese, baked for another 10 minutes, then turned the broiler on for a few minutes more to brown it up a bit. Heidi's recipe suggests that you might have an excess of moisture on top of the cake, but since I drained the ricotta so well, that didn't happen.

It is a little skinnier than Heidi's – my pan was an 8-incher, not 7. But it's as delicious as I thought it would be. Rich and creamy and savory, with a nice sort of chunky texture, though still soft.

I decided to call this a torte rather than a cheesecake. It's easier for me to think of a torte as savory.

As Heidi noted, you could make this with all kinds of vegetables; whatever's handy. I'm thinking asparagus would be good in this. Or maybe Swiss chard. It makes a lot! I will have to freeze some of it and see how it holds up.

It does do well in the fridge overnight. I cut the slice below this morning (middle of the night's not so good for food photography), shot it, then ate it. Yum!
Go check out Heidi's version for making this with store-bought ricotta, and do some experimenting of your own!

Other recently tested goat-milk recipes:
lacto-fermented sauerkraut (with an update)
honey vanilla ice cream
Raspberry ice cream
Mexican chocolate pudding
ricotta cheese

P.S. I'm embarrassed to admit I spelled torte wrong (without an "e") in the original post. I fixed it. Please don't sue me.


  1. bravo on the rennet - it is available online from a more popular rennet maker - ( I say this because it is the only package I recognize so maybe it isnt 'popular' after all)

    LUCKY you with all this milk to have fun with....

  2. You are getting quite handy with all this cheese making! I'm impressed. And the torte sounds very yummy. Haven't had much zucchini recently, and it sounds luscious. Beautiful, too since you are sooooo right on those night shots. I keep threatening to make dinner for lunch and then heat it up later. ;) I'm giving your blog an award. Not done with the post yet, but it's on its way.

  3. Thanks, db. I knew I could order it online, but I wanted to find it locally if I could. I do feel very lucky in the dairy department.

    Thank you, too, Kelly! I'll check out your post. I've considered building a lightbox. But I'm lazy.

    The torte would work with lots of other vegetables, I'm sure.

  4. I figured you knew but I must've trucked all over my fair city before I realized - I wasnt finding rennet.

  5. I keep telling B. I need a goat or that we should invest in a goat but that does not register yet :)
    I love your torte made with ricotta...and homemade with your on goat's milk....awesome!!