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DIY: Ricotta Cheese

February 3, 2011

Why would you ever want to make your own ricotta cheese, you ask? When you can buy it for pretty cheap at any grocery store across the country? For many reasons, really. A while back, I stumbled across many of my fellow bloggers concocting their own curds and whey and I asked myself the same question, why? Every one of them waxed rhetoric on the creamy, milky flavor, even saying that would never turn back to the store bought tubs again. I was still not really convinced. While reading Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal Vegetable Miracle” though, I became inspired to try it on my own. After all, it really cant get any easier. I liked the Kingsolver’s idea of being able to control exactly what is in your food and knowing it was absolutely fresh. I used the homemade ricotta cheese in ravioli, and I have to agree with the masses, it really is better. The simple flavor of the milk really shines through, accompanied by a delightful rich, creaminess. Now, when I have used the store bought stuff, all I can really taste is the plastic tub it came in. I’m not into it.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

1 gallon of good quality, organic Milk (local is best)
1 quart of good quality, organic butter milk

1. Combine both milks in a large sauce pan, I used my Dutch oven and it was perfect. Stir occasionally to keep it from scorching. Once the mixture gets hot, stop stirring, but keep an eye on it.

2. Take a large sieve or colander and line it with cheese cloth (I actually used a clean, thin kitchen towel and it worked well) and set it in the sink.

3. Keep an eye on the temperature of the milk by attaching a candy thermometer to the size of the pot. Once it reaches around 175 degrees, remove from heat. Allow the mixture to “rest” for about ten minutes. I found this step in a few different places, and I noticed that while it was resting, more curds developed.

4. Ladle the curds, the clumpy white mass, into the prepared sieve. Let it drain for about 15 minutes. Tie the cloth into a knot and give it a good squeeze. Store in an airtight container- I also added a few sprinkles of sea salt.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 3, 2011 11:11 pm

    That seems simple enough. Probably worth the experiment.


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