Baked Ricotta, Savory or Sweet

I don’t specialize in low-fat recipes (shocking, I know), but this one is all about the ricotta, which is by nature low-fat. Wonderful to eat warm!

In testing for doneness, the cheese should not be completely dry in the middle. Similar to baking a cheesecake, the ricotta will swell slightly and retain a lazy wobble when set. As it cools, it will firm up some more, so keep that in mind while baking. Individual rounds can be made in muffin tins, and are pretty platemates to a simple salad.

Here are the ingredients for the savory version:

Ingredients
1 garlic clove, a fat and juicy one is best
Olive oil for greasing the dish
8 ounces fresh whole milk (goat or cow) ricotta
1/4 cup grated Grana Padano cheese
3 tablespoons minced mixed fresh herbs — chives, parsley, thyme
Zest from half a lemon
Pinch of red pepper flakes or minced red chili (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
1 large egg white, lightly whisked

For the sweet cheese, simply eliminate the spices, grana padano cheese and garlic. Add 1/2 Cup of sugar, honey or maple syrup.

Preheat an oven to 350°F (175°C). Cut the garlic clove in half horizontally and rub the cut sides against the interior of a 1-cup capacity ramekin. Use a pastry brush to lightly coat the inside of the dish with oil. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta, Grana Padano, herbs, lemon zest and chili (if using). Taste, then season with kosher salt and black pepper. Stir in the whisked egg white. Spoon the ricotta mixture into the prepared ramekin and place on a baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven until the cheese is puffed and almost set in the centre, and beginning to brown in spots, around 35 minutes depending on the dimensions of your ramekin. Remove from the oven and cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Serve either in the dish or run a knife around the edge of the cheese and invert onto a serving plate with crackers or bread alongside. And maybe some wine too. Surely one with bubbles. Best warm or at room temperature.

Makes 1 baked round, serving 4.

Thanks to Seven Spoons and Madame Fromage for the recipe and photo:)

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