Tuesday, July 16

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Did I believe that one day I would inevitably wind up making my own cheese? Yeah, I did. Did I believe that making my own cheese would not only take less than 20 minutes, but would entirely change my view of cheese forever? Absolutely not. 
I have to thank Pinterest for this epiphany, and for making my Lasagna taste better than ever with fresh scoops of this deliciously salty and creamy homemade Ricotta cheese. It takes 4 ingredients, a thermometer and some cheesecloth. Start by heating your dairy in a saucepan over medium heat.
Look at this magic happening right before your eyes. Once you reach the desired temperature, the curds (the solids) begin separating from the whey (the liquids)
Then all that's left to do is drain and salt the cheese before jarring it up and spreading on toast.
And there you have simple, beautiful, homemade ricotta. The world is your oyster, go make some cheese! Next, I think I'll try the vinegar instead of buttermilk method, and maybe add in some flavors like lemon zest or fresh herbs. 

Homemade Ricotta Cheese
Adapted from Framed Cooks

4 C whole Milk
1 C Buttermilk
1/3 C Heavy Whipping Cream
1-2 tsp. Sea Salt, per desired taste

In a medium saucepan, heat the liquids over medium high heat with a candy thermometer attached to the side of the pan. Carefully bring to a boil, stirring occasionally and watching to prevent boiling over or scorching.
When the liquids hit 185 degrees, the curds and whey will have begun to separate, this should take about 10 minutes. Once separated, remove the pan from the heat and use a slotted spoon to transfer the curds into a colander lined with cheese cloth, a clean dishtowel or a thick layer of paper towels. With each scoop, add a dash of salt, gently mixing it in.
The liquid will drain off and in about 5 minutes, you'll have perfect cheese. If you like your ricotta thicker and dry, allow it to drain longer, maybe even overnight. You can always add in a tablespoon or so of milk to moisten it again. Store in a jar in the fridge for about a week (if it lasts that long :))


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