Make Ahead

Ice Creamed Ricotta

March 12, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Makes over 1 pint
Author Notes

One of the simplest ways to enjoy fresh ricotta is just to puree it smoothly in the blender with a little sweetener and flavor...but that is not much of a recipe, and it is not an original recipe of mine. Inspired by that blender technique, I began to apply some of what I have learned from making stove top custard, and from there going on to ice cream. Given the high New England season, I have decided to use some grade B maple syrup (it is actually from last season) to sweeten this, egg yolks to make a lovely yellow color, Meyer lemon and nutmeg to enhance the flavors. Period. There could be many more flavors and spices, but I want to explore this restrained palette. The custard is lovely. The ice cream is really heavenly smooth. I could not resist sneaking in a smidgen of fresh rosemary to the ice cream in the processor. I was also going to offer a maple syrup drizzle, but now I suggest you savor the ice cream simply on its own, but just maybe with a fresh rosemary sprig. - Sagegreen —Sagegreen

Test Kitchen Notes

Always ready to take an idea and run with it, Sagegreen has jazzed up a simple custard with a strong dose of lemon and nutmeg and an undertone of maple. While it is wonderful without rosemary, just a touch is a nice addition to the thick, luxurious custard. I'm partial to ice cream, but if you're prone to brain freeze, try it on it's own. —Stephanie Bourgeois

What You'll Need
  • 1/3 cup Meyer lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup grade B maple syrup
  • zest of one Meyer lemon
  • 16 ounces fresh whole milk ricotta, strained
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg, divided
  • small sprigs of rosemary, optional
  1. In a blender splash in the lemon juice. Let the syrup ooze in next. Flick in the zest. Next scoop in the ricotta. Sneak in a little heavy cream. Crack each yolk in, one at a time. Finish with half the nutmeg. If you know you love rosemary, then add 1/8 teaspoon of finely minced fresh leaves. Otherwise, leave them out! Whirl into a tizzy until dazed completely smooth.
  2. In a double boiler or very heavy saucepan bring this velvety mix to a very slow simmer. Do not boil. To prevent your yolks from curdling, stir like a dervish if you did not opt for the double boiler method . Simmer for about 7-10 minutes until the custard has thickened. Take off heat and place a sheet of parchment on top to prevent skim ...unless of course you want to savor the skim top later. (Just as a test I also baked some of these in egg coddlers in a hot water bath; you can see some photos).
  3. If you love warm custard, you can stop right here and serve these up; just let them cool off enough so they are not too hot to eat. Otherwise, let cool, chill and serve several hours later in a custard form. But if you want the ice cream version, chill completely, best overnight. And you may be waiting for your ice cream maker to chill in the freezer, anyway.
  4. Process the chilled custard using directions with your ice cream maker. To serve, grate the remaining fresh nutmeg on top or garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs. If you have a sweet tooth, consider a drizzle of grade A maple syrup. Alternative finishes include toasted pine nuts, hot dark chocolate sauce or chips, or hot expresso. Just plain it is deeply creamy with just that subtle underling of wonderful ricotta grittiness. This is best eaten soon after processing. But if you do refreeze, take out your ice cream to let it soften at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Avoid microwaving!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • inpatskitchen
  • AppleAnnie
  • ccolbert
  • fiveandspice
  • hardlikearmour

36 Reviews

myteachermsfleming February 28, 2013
Maybe I'm doing something wrong, or my freezer is too cold. But when I make other ice creams and put them in there they don't come out like this one. This recipe was delicious the day I made it as a custard and an ice cream, but the next day, I wanted to put it over blueberry pie for my partner's birthday and it was hard as a rock and I had to microwave it for a full minute to get it to soften, and then it still had hard bits at the center. It tasted sandy and bland the day after. It was so much better fresh. I was sad.
Sagegreen March 1, 2013
I'm so sorry to hear of your results after freezing. Since I don't own a microwave, I would not have anticipated using one to quicken the softening. I have simply let my frozen leftovers sit out at room temperature for 5-7 minutes and it always seemed fine. But I will edit the recipe to help folks avoid your outcome. So sorry!
inpatskitchen March 24, 2011
Congrats on your Editor's Picks Award!! This is a truly lovely dessert..
Sagegreen March 24, 2011
Thanks so much for the EP! It is quite an honor. Drbabs and ChezSuzanne inspired me to get my ice cream maker this year, so I have been enjoying a new world of recipes, especially those that begin with custard. And since, I have discovered the joy of making ricotta from scratch, too!
SamanthaK March 18, 2011
Reminds me of when Mom made cannolis with an Italian recipe which called for "blenderizing" the ricotta mixture. It was too thin to fill the shells with, so we ate this wonderful filling for days. I still remember that with great fondness and will have to try this recipe with that in mind. Thanks for the reminder of a very fond memory!
Sagegreen March 19, 2011
Thanks for sharing your memory, too.
AppleAnnie March 17, 2011
I can't wait to try it--inspired and lovely!
Sagegreen March 17, 2011
Thanks, AppleAnnie. Please do let me know what you think if you make it.
ccolbert March 17, 2011
This looks so very delicious. Pudding and cheese are two of my favorite things! Now that I have my kitchen somewhat in order ... (key word here is 'somewhat') ... I'll have to give this a try!
Sagegreen March 17, 2011
Thanks, ccolbert. Picturing you in Bali, I look forward to your recipes after you get more settled!
fiveandspice March 15, 2011
Oooooh. This looks heavenly! I can't believe I have never had - or even thought of - ricotta ice cream before. Two of my favorites, in one!
Sagegreen March 15, 2011
Thanks, fiveandspice. I had not put the two together before this contest either. My earlier experiment of alternatively baking the mix covered in a steam bath I thought was a failure....but today that custard tastes like a great German style quark cheesecake I am happy to report!
fiveandspice March 15, 2011
That is a very happy thing to be able to report, indeed.
hardlikearmour March 15, 2011
This looks delicious!
Sagegreen March 15, 2011
Thanks, hla. I am not sure which I like more, the custard or the ice cream version.
gingerroot March 15, 2011
Oh yum! I love this.
Sagegreen March 15, 2011
Thanks, gingerroot!
JessLum March 13, 2011
MMm this looks delicious! I've been loving using ricotta in both sweet and savory dishes lately, I have to try this out!
Sagegreen March 13, 2011
Thanks, JessLum. I think it might be my time to switch over to savory now! The rosemary that I added in takes this towards the savory side.
mrslarkin March 13, 2011
oh, yummy! I see you found one of the beautiful egg coddlers!!
Sagegreen March 13, 2011
Thanks, mrslarkin. Yes this is a Bauhaus Wagenfeld coddler. I tried a version of this recipe in the oven with less than impressive results, so will need to figure out more what exactly went wrong...probably need to get a scale first, then foodpickle!
wssmom March 12, 2011
Plus ice cream tomorrow? I am overwhelmed with deliciousness ...
Sagegreen March 13, 2011
Thanks, wssmom. Here's hoping!
Sagegreen March 13, 2011
OK, it's finally ice cream time. Everybody is invited!
lapadia March 12, 2011
I was just thinking about a cream, today! Can't wait to see what you come up with. Oh, and great recipe, btw...
TheWimpyVegetarian March 13, 2011
So was I! I can't wait to see what both of you come up with!
lapadia March 16, 2011
Yum, Sagegreen, and thanks for sharing!
Sagegreen March 16, 2011
Thanks, lapadia, and Happy St. Patty's Day, I guess tomorrow!
feastingonart March 12, 2011
Wow, this sounds delicious!
Sagegreen March 12, 2011
Thanks, foa. Learning from all those video shorts this week, I may try a steamed version of the custard baked in egg coddlers next to see how these compare...maybe adding some rosemary sprigs.
inpatskitchen March 12, 2011
All this today and ice cream tomorrow?.....I can't wait!!
Sagegreen March 12, 2011
Thanks, inpatskitchen. I think today will conclude my cooking frenzy, but it will end hopefully on an ice cream high note tomorrow!
testkitchenette March 12, 2011
I am with you on whizzing ricotta with sweetener and flavor, so much so that I used to eat it for breakfast sometimes! Your ice cream sounds divine. A hot espresso poured over would complete a meal for me. Well done!
Sagegreen March 12, 2011
Thanks, testkichenette. Hot expresso sounds great with this ice cream. Can't wait to try it tomorrow. OK now off to the gym!
drbabs March 12, 2011
Sagegreen March 12, 2011
Thanks, drbabs. The warm custard is really nice! Should I be sick of pudding by now? Scary, I am not!