Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ricotta cheese

 
So I ordered a cheesemaking kit for mozzarella and ricotta from the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company after reading about them in the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (which I loved, by the way). My kit came yesterday and so this afternoon I decided I would try the ricotta (which sounded less complicated as a first try). The below recipe is from the book that comes with their kit. 

I enlisted the assistance of my husband for this job (mostly for stirring). It was fun to make the cheese. We tasted it and it was really good. I'm sure I'll be posting some recipes in the near future that use ricotta now that we have a bunch to use. The recipe will make about 1.75 to 2 lbs of cheese. You will need a thermometer and cheesecloth to make the ricotta.

Ricotta cheese
1 gallon of whole milk (NOT ultra-pasteurized)
1 teaspoon citric acid
1 teaspoon salt (the kit comes with a cheese salt)
 

Add all ingredients into a large stainless steel stock/soup pot and stir. Heat over medium heat, stirring often as to not scorch the milk.

 
Continue heating until the milk reaches 195 degrees (this took approximately 1 hour). The curds and whey will separate. Turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Line a colander with the cheesecloth and fit it into a large bowl or pot to drain the curds from the whey. Ladle the curds into the colander. 
  
Then tie your cloth into a "bag" shape and hang to drain for another 30 minutes, or until your desired consistency (I hung it on the knob of a cabinet and placed a bowl underneath to catch all the drippings). 

The ricotta is ready to be eaten or refrigerated until needed (up to one week).

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