Friday, July 22, 2011

DIY - Whole Milk Ricotta #Recipe

I love cheese. One of my recent interests has been home cheese making. Mozzarella and Ricotta are two of the simplest cheeses I've made. But, I have my sights set on others. No, really! Anyone can make cheese. It isn't magic.

As long as you can find fresh, non-ultra pasteurized milk, you can be in cheese-bliss in no time!

So do you want to see how it's made? This is whole milk ricotta, there is another process to make it out of whey, and I hope to try that one out next. This is amazing... dry and crumbly, but creamy and rich at the same time. I made this batch for my kale ravioli, stay tuned for that recipe.

You Will Need:
2 gallons of whole milk
2-3 tsp. citric acid
2 tsp. cheese salt - this is coarser than regular table salt
Butter Muslin (you can use cheese cloth, but double it, or flour sack cloth. Butter muslin is best, though)

...yup, that's it...

Grab yourself a heavy bottomed pan. Find something non-reactive, so no aluminum or cast iron. You will also need a thermometer handy.

Pour the milk into your pan and add the citric acid and salt. Slowly heat this up to 195 degrees. Stir to keep the bottom from scorching. The milk should start separating right away, but will keep separating curd from whey as the temperature heats up.

Once you hit 195, turn off the heat and let the ricotta sit for 5 minutes.

Now line a colander with butter muslin. Yes, it  is different from ordinary cheesecloth.

In a pinch add multiple layers of cheese cloth... but you will probably lose some curd.

Cheesecloth has much larger mesh than the butter muslin. I can't find it locally, but you can order it from The New England Cheesemaking Supply Company. This is where I found all my ricotta supplies.

Let the ricotta drain for an hour or more. Letting it hang is a great way to drain away the whey. You can also press the ricotta with a large weight.

Now your ricotta is ready to be refrigerated or used as you like. My ravioli was amazing and next I will be using this for stuffed zucchini blossoms. Mmmm... the possibilities!
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