July 9, 2012

Cheesy Talk - Homemade Ricotta

"Enjoy change! Savor the adventure and enjoy the taste of new cheese!" 
- excerpt from "Who Moved My Cheese"

Since my husband is a big fan of cheese, I always wonder how to make one. But I get discouraged every time I tried doing it. I'm intimidated with the ingredients I haven't heard once! And I'm talking about Rennet and the cultures. Where can I find it? In supermarket, drugstore, meatshop???
So I searched and searched and searched until I found a site that taught me a very easy cheese recipe without using those "ingredients". 

The recipe I'll be sharing with you was adapted from Italian Food Forever. I simply adjust some of the measurement and ingredients according to the resources I found in the grocery. 

1 litre full cream milk
1 cup of cream
1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice or calamansi juice
1/4 tsp salt (add more if you want saltier)

stainless steel pot
stainless laddle with holes
cheese cloth
strainer / colander

1. Pour the milk, cream and salt into the pot. Simmer over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
2. Heat the milk to 180-190F, but if you don't have a thermometer just like me, simmer it before it comes to a boil or until you see tiny bubbles appearing in the side of the pot.
3. Once it reaches the correct temperature, turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar or the lemon or calamansi juice.
4. Let it sit undisturbed for a couple of hours. You will notice that curds are forming.
5. After 2-3 hours, pour the mixture into the cheese cloth lined strainer / colander. Allow it to drain for 2 hours or so depending on how moist or dry you want your ricotta to be.
6. Transfer the ricotta in a bowl (air-tight container is good), but if you don't have, you can just cover the container with a plastic wrap. 
7. Store in the refrigerator if you'll not consume it immediately. It will keep for up to 5 days.

In my personal opinion, I like the ricotta(1) made with lemon instead of vinegar or calamansi. The scent of the lemon doesn't over power the taste of the cheese.

(1) Ricotta is an Italian whey cheese, made from the left over whey when making other cheeses. The name Ricotta literally means ‘cooked again’ which explains what happens when making Ricotta.

Happy day always,


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