Sunday, August 31, 2014

Homemade Ricotta

Today we're going to make ricotta. Yep, it's a weekend and you got nothin' else to do, am I right? Set aside a few hours and soon you'll have fresh homemade ricotta. A big plus: it's eaaaasy!


-1/2 gallon whole milk
-1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice. You should be able to get that from 1-2 lemons.
-Kosher salt to taste, if you're using it for something savory.

-First, ice a large and heavy pot. This just helps to keep the milk from scorching. All you have to do is grab an ice cube and place it on the bottom of your pot, with the heat off. Then just move the ice around in the pot so it covers the entire bottom surface. Once it completely melts, leave the ice water on the bottom as you add milk to it. Just make sure not to touch the spoon to the bottom of the pot.

-Then, add the milk and lemon juice and stir without touching the bottom of the pot for about 5 seconds.

-Now, you'll need a thermometer. Turn the heat on low and attach the thermometer to the pot. You want the milk and lemon mixture to reach 175F. It should take 40-60 minutes, depending on your stove. You can stir once or twice during this time. I use this thermometer that I got on Amazon, it's special for cheesemaking.

-Once it reaches the right temperature, raise the heat to medium-high and stand by the pot until the milk reaches 205F. Do not stir, just stand there and stare at the milk. DO IT! The surface of the milk will look like it's about to erupt but it should not be boiling. Now, remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes. You should now have your cheese (curds) and the liquid (whey).

-Lay a fine-meshed sieve over a large bowl. Line the sieve with a double layer of damp cheesecloth. Scoop the curds into the cheesecloth and let the cheese drain for 10 minutes. This is when you add your salt if you're using it.

That's it! You have made ricotta. It should last about 5 days in the fridge, in an airtight container. You're welcome.

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