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Homemade Ricotta and Prosciutto Wrapped Mangos on Toast

I’ve been re-reading Plate to Pixel this week. An attempt to push myself forward off this photography plateau I’ve been stuck on. I struggle, at times, with the balancing act that is being a mom, working full time, and maintain a blog. When my photos suck, and I know it, I see them as the crack that will bring down the wall and a panic begins to rise within me.

I know that when it comes to the blog trifecta: "Recipes-Photos-writing" I have a long way to go in all areas. The pursuit of goals isn’t about being perfect, or even about raw talent, as much as it is about struggle. Continue to fight, learn, seek objective feedback, challenge yourself, and don’t give up. 

The best thing about this recipe, is how easy it was to make homemade ricotta. Cheese making has been on my To Do list for a while and ricotta was a great intro, so easy and fast. 

Durring my research, I used three posts as guides and made two batches, all of which I consumes over the weekend. 

I used posts from these three blogs:

Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body

Smitten Kitchen

The Italian Dish 

I used the milk I had on hand, and this is what I came up with:

Homemade Ricotta and Prosciutto Wrapped Mango on Toast

2 cups of whole milk

1 cup of cream

1/2 tsp salt

3 tbs lemon juice

8-10 large slices of sour dough bread

1 large mango

4-6 slices of prosciutto, sliced in half down the center to make 8-12 long skinny strips

salt and pepper to taste

To Make the Ricotta:

Put the milk, cream and salt into a sauce pan. Attach a thermometer (either candy or deep-fry is fine) to the side of the pot, making sure that the tip of the thermometer does not touch the bottom of the pan but is still submerged in the milk.  Heat over medium/high heat until it reaches 190 degrees, about 6-8 minutes. You will know it has reached this temperature because it will foam up really fiercely. 

Remove from heat and add the lemon juice, stir only once. you want it to distribute, but you don’t want to disrupt the curds that will be forming. Leave it alone for about 5 minutes. Don’t touch it. 

Place a mesh strainer over a large bowl, line the strainer with 3-4 layers of cheese cloth. 

It will still be pretty thin, this surprised me. I was expecting something that looked like cottage cheese, and it looked more like thick milk. Thats fine. Pour it into the strainer that you have lined with cheese cloth. 

Allow it to drain for about 20 minutes to 2 hours. The longer you allow it to drain, the thicker and stiffer it will be. Remember that once you chill it, it will continue to thicken, so place it to chill when it is a bit softer than you want the final product to be. 

I liked Julia’s tip about tying the cheese cloth to the kitchen faucet in order to speed the draining process up a bit. Worked like a charm. 

Scrape the cheese into a a container with an air tight lid. Chill for at least 20 minutes prior to use. 

Ricotta should keep in the fridge for about 5 days. 

To make the toast:

Using a biscuit cutter, cut 3 to 4 inch circles out of the bread. Place under the broiler until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. 

Peel and slice the mango, wrap with prosciutto. 

Spread each toast circle with ricotta, top with a prosciutto wrapped mango, sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

I also made these with apples slices, and that was equally as amazing. 

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Valerie @ From Valerie’s Kitchen February 20, 2012 um 11:39 am

Beautiful photos! Your reading is paying off. I’m in the same boat and I’m slowly moving up the learning curve. I need to pull out my copy of Plate to Pixel. It’s a constant process isn’t it?


Jackie February 20, 2012 um 11:44 am

Totally. I just need to remember that it takes a LOT of time, and I’ll never be done learning. AND not to beat myself up because I’m not as good as Helene Dujardin!


cassie February 20, 2012 um 11:48 am

This looks absolutely lovely. But I have to admit that I don’t like ricotta cheese. I definitely need to try the homemade stuff!


Colleen Bierstine February 20, 2012 um 12:42 pm

Homemade ricotta = yum! Props to you for making it from scratch. I’m dying to try it!


Jackie February 20, 2012 um 12:44 pm

You should! SO much easier than I thought.


Tina@flourtrader February 20, 2012 um 1:31 pm

Yes, blogging is a never ending journey of learning as well as trials and tribulations, but it is a fun journey! Your pictures do look great, so that book is sure doing some magic for you.
Also, I love the blend here and with the homemade ricotta no doubt it tastes amazing. Awesome creation. Also, your detail on making the ricotta is very helpful-thanks.


Jameson Fink February 20, 2012 um 1:41 pm

These are adorable. And after reading how simple it can be to make ricotta, I’m a bit ashamed I haven’t tried it before.


Jackie February 20, 2012 um 1:49 pm

Thats how I felt! I’m ready to move on to more complicated recipes. I MUST try and make goat cheese!


Liz February 20, 2012 um 6:05 pm

Oh, my gosh, this looks so tasty! And your photography is lovely! I get too impatient and should take more time to set the stage…I need to dig out my Plate to Pixel copy, too 🙂


Jackie February 20, 2012 um 6:21 pm

Thank you LIz 🙂 so sweet of you to say! It’s a great book for inspiration.


Jen @ Juanita’s Cocina February 20, 2012 um 6:30 pm

This looks divine. I am making this this weekend and I cannot wait!


Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. February 20, 2012 um 8:21 pm

I know what you mean about photos. It’s really hard sometimes. Especially after a long day and when I lose all my natural light! I love your photos though! And I love that you made your own ricotta!


Jackie February 21, 2012 um 10:44 am

I know what you mean, there is just not enough natural light in the day! You should try to make it too, its so easy.


Julia February 21, 2012 um 10:40 am

I always love your posts and all the honesty you share! Just as some positive reinforcement, your recipes/photos/writing are beautiful.

PS, I’ve been dreaming about ricotta since you mentioned it yesterday. I might need to make a triple batch, since that’s about how much I can consume in 1 sitting.


Jackie February 21, 2012 um 10:45 am

You are so sweet 🙂 I was so surprised at home much better it was then that store bought stuff. Now, we have to convert Cassie!


Cucina49 February 21, 2012 um 2:56 pm

Oh, that ricotta looks heavenly! I really need to learn to make my own.


Jackie February 21, 2012 um 3:08 pm

You should! SO simple and easy 🙂


balvinder ( Neetu) February 21, 2012 um 8:05 pm

I make Paneer(Indian cottage cheese) at home, want to try Ricotta at home. the method is almost same. the only difference is that you have added cream.


Jackie February 21, 2012 um 9:24 pm

That sounds great. Some people make ricotta with just milk or whole milk and non-fat. I wonder what the difference is between the two, the sound so similar!


Kim Bee February 21, 2012 um 9:35 pm

These are remarkable. And simple. I love simple. And remarkable.xx


chinmayie @ love food eat February 21, 2012 um 10:59 pm

Ricotta making sounds so similar to Paneer! I haven’t made cheese at home for a very long time now as we don’t consume much cheese these days. Your post made we want to make some for my daughter 🙂


claire @ the realistic nutritionist February 22, 2012 um 12:20 pm

I think your photos are beautiful!! And I love that you made your own ricotta!


Denise February 22, 2012 um 12:24 pm

These would make a great pairing with a good white wine. Thanks for the recipe. They look incredible!


amy @ fearless homemaker February 27, 2012 um 11:03 am

these sound lovely + i’m super impressed that you made your own ricotta – i still haven’t tried that yet, despite it being on my to-make list for months! i still need to get myself Plate To Pixel, too – my photos still need quite a bit of work. =/


Baker Street February 27, 2012 um 9:15 pm

Jackie: I have had cheese on my list forever! Thanks for all that info. Homemade ricotta does sound easy.. but the way you’ve used it is spectacular! I mean proscuitto wrapped mango sounds delish.


Earle March 2, 2012 um 8:37 am

Saved, I enjoy your site! 🙂


Genevive Giaccio March 19, 2012 um 12:12 pm

I want to express my appreciation for your post. Especially the photo. Gave me inspiration


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