For Ricotta (makes enough for dates below + approximately 1 extra cup):
- 4 cups of Rolling Meadow Dairy 3.25% Milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- ½ tsp salt
For Ricotta (makes 24):
- 24 medjool dates, pitted
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- 1 clementine, zested
- Black pepper
- 1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 6 strips of bacon
- Line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth and place over a bowl.
- Add all the ingredients to a medium-sized pot and bring to a rolling boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
- Once the curds start to separate from the whey (you will see it clump), stir once more, reduce heat to low and allow to cook for an additional two minutes.
- Gently ladle the mixture into the cheesecloth, cover and allow to strain for approximately 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut off one end of the date, and using a chopstick gently push pit out other end, creating a cavity to fill with ricotta. Repeat with remaining dates.
- To a small mixing bowl add ricotta, clementine zest, thyme and a few cracks of black pepper. Stir to combine.
- Place ricotta mixture in a small plastic bag. Push down into one corner and cut off the tip to make a piping bag. Fill each date with mixture.
- Cut each strip of bacon in half lengthwise, then again crosswise to get four small ribbons. Wrap each date with one ribbon, securing with a toothpick through the belly of the date.
- Bake for 15 minutes until bacon is cooked. Serve warm.