Friday, July 8, 2011

homemade ricotta stuffed grapes

or, "what angels eat." i love to cook (obviously) but sam is something of a savant when it comes to coming up with ideas for food. i relish my ability to recreate a recipe, or pair flavors i've had before and create something new - sam, on the other hand, comes up with ideas for dishes that are so outside of my box of thinking that my immediate response is usually to scoff. such was my instinct when he came up with the idea for cheese-stuffed grapes. grapes are too small, it probably wouldn't really work well, i dismissed him with a certain i-went-to-culinary-school snottiness. but then last week, when planning a mini menu (more of this later,) i decided to give sam's amuse bouche a try. and oh. my. god. i'm not sure i'll every be able to appreciate a just-plain-grape again.


the first step is to make ricotta. i'd spotted a good-lookin' recipe over at smitten kitchen, so i can home from work and hopped right to it. it's a pretty simple recipe - you'll need

a strainer
3 cups good, fresh whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 t kosher salt
3 T lemon juice

pour the milk, cream & salt into a big pot with a candy thermometer; bring it up to 190 farenheit, stirring occasionally so that the salt dissolves and nothing burns. add the lemon juice; let it sit for 5 minutes without stirring, then dump it into a strainer lined with a few layers of cheese cloth. (put a bowl underneath if you want to save the whey.) let it sit like this for an hour or two, depending on how thick you want it - i let mine go for about an hour and a half and got a delicious, creamy, but totally spreadable cheese.


now! for the grapes. admittedly, this is a little bit of a pain. i'd been hoping a melon baller would work, but my grapes were too small - if you can find those big, seeded grapes, i bet they would work great.

i sliced the top off the grapes to make a little lid, then used the sharp tip of a peeler and carefully cored out the centers. and ate them. delicious. then filled a piping bag with the ricotta and filled them to the brim, topped them each with a tiny mint leaf, and stuck the grape lids on top. and voila! this is maybe the most delicate, beautiful, creative pairing of fruit and cheese i've ever had the pleasure of ingesting, and it was 100% not my idea. thank goodness for my better half, eh?


xo audrey

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  1. Mmmm any kind of cheese and fruit is great for me! Nothing makes me happier than sweet and savoury. Kudos to you for the fiddly work in this!
    I already follow you with bloglovin. Easiest way to keep track of things for sure!

  2. This is Fabulous and Creative! This would be great for a little dinner party as an appetizer. Or perfect for a wine tasting.

  3. holy cow, little lady, i so want to make these! or at least make my own ricotta!! have yet to have any success making cheese, why oh why must i half-ass things?

  4. These look amazing! Mmmm..homemade ricotta.


  5. Whoa, these look really interesting! Not sure how I'd deal with the mix of textures, but I kinda wanna give this a go!! x

  6. That looks so delicious! My mom makes homemade ricotta. I'll have to ask her to stuff some grapes next time I'm home!

  7. I'm a vegan, but they look so yummy... Where does the angel's food saying come from? I've never heard of ricotta stuffed grapes before.. Maybe i'm just not very cultured haha!

  8. My goodness, they look AMAZING! Such a creative idea! I may have to give this a try myself!

    Girl about Town XxX

  9. I really need to get back into cooking! The more I read your blog, the more I miss cooking meals.
    How long do you heat the milk/cream/salt? Just till the salt dissolves?