Thursday, August 8, 2013

How To Make Home Made Ricotta Cheese

One summer a few years ago, my friend Katie was visiting the Sunshine Coast and invited me to visit her as she stayed at her parent's house. We noshed on some amazing fig butter filled pinwheel biscuits and I watched as she made her own ricotta cheese, noticing that it really was amazingly easy and something I should try. I never did get around to it for a very long time until just recently.

If you are used to ricotta being this dry, kind of crumbly, tasteless stuff that you get in tubs at the store, stop right there. Homemade ricotta is completely different. It's not as crumbly, and can almost be spread on things. It's also richer and has a much nicer flavor.

Also it's so easy to make yourself you'll never want to buy the stuff at the store again. I guess depending on the milk you buy, the store bought might be a bit cheaper, but in the end home made is much nicer so you decide. As for me, I think I'll make it.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

To make one cup of ricotta cheese, you need:

1 liter of whole milk. I prefer Avalon milk because it's one of the few brands of milk that Kevin can actually drink. Find some really good milk, and your ricotta will taste better.

1/2 cup whipping cream

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Get a fine mesh sieve and line it with cheesecloth. Set it over a large bowl. 

Pour the milk, whipping cream, and salt into a very large pot. Give it a stir. Turn the heat to medium and hang out by the stove, stirring occasionally, while the milk heats up. Continue to stand and stir occasionally until it comes to a full rolling boil.

Add the lemon juice and turn the heat down to low, stirring constantly until the milk curdles. It takes about a minute or two. 

Pour the lot into the sieve you have waiting. Drain it well for an hour before you put the cheese into an airtight container in the fridge. Discard the liquid. The cheese will last for about two days.

I have a bunch of recipes coming in the next few weeks that use ricotta, just for you! Or you can be like me and just eat it with some fresh cracked pepper, spread on crackers.

Adapted from Bon Appetit
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