So today I want to try something that’s been floating around in my brain for a couple weeks now. It’s an Italian type of food and I need to make some Ricotta cheese for it. So, here’s me making Ricotta 🙂
We went to Costco earlier and I bought a couple gallons of their whole milk. I poured one gallon into my cheese pot, and then dissolved 1 tsp each of citric acid and cheese salt in 1/2 cup of water. I added it to the milk in the pot, and then heated to 185 degrees F.
The citric acid makes it curdle, and the salt of course seasons it. When the curds separate, you simply strain the ricotta out, saving the whey for the garden or whatnot.
Here’s a cool photo of my straining apparatus 🙂 I have a big huge cone-shaped colander I found at a thrift store, lined with an old bleached muslin cloth diaper. Birdseye diapers are great for straining cheese.
OK it’s done! Heated to 200 degrees actually (the baby had to nurse, so I ended up getting it a little warmer than I planned). Once it reaches that certain point in temperature, it all curdles into, well, curds! 🙂
And hanging to drip!
I let it drip for about 30 minutes and then unmolded it.
Here I’ve broken it up a bit in a bowl. It looks more like cottage cheese than ricotta.
I’ve broken it up more, stirred a bit, and added milk for extra creaminess.
So there you have it! I then used this cheese to make dinner tonight, which will be in a separate post. 🙂 It made about 2 pounds of cheese, and my total cost was probably about $2.48. Not bad, eh?