Friday, April 4, 2014

Cheese Recipe: Ricotta


Most ricotta recipes call for using whey and have a very low yield. I discovered this variation one day when I was in the middle of making queso blanco and a goat went into labor. I had just added the vinegar when I was called out to the barn. A few hours later, I came back into the kitchen and realized I had completely forgotten about my queso blanco, which had cooled to room temperature. I tried draining it in the cheesecloth, but it would not knit. It fell apart into crumbles when I opened the cheesecloth. Of course, I was disappointed at first, but then I realized that it looked a lot like ricotta, although a little drier. When using Nigerian Dwarf goat milk, which is 5 to 6 percent butterfat, this recipe makes enough for a 9 X 13 inch pan of lasagna. If you are using milk with lower butterfat, you can double the recipe.

Makes 2–4 cups

2 quarts milk
2 tablespoons vinegar

Heat the milk on low to 190°F. Add the vinegar and stir. When the curds and whey separate, put the pot into a sink filled with cold water. The water should come up to the level of the milk in the pot. Stir to reduce the temperature quickly while keeping the curds separated. When the temperature is down to 90°F, drain the curds through a cheesecloth-lined colander. The curds can be used immediately in your favorite recipe or can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator. Do not buy “ultra-pasteurized” milk at the store for cheese making because it has been heated to 280°F and will not turn into cheese, yogurt or anything else that requires cultures to grow or curds to form.

This is an excerpt from Homegrown & Handmade: A Practical Guide to More Self-Reliant Living.

This post was shared on The Prarie Homestead Barn Hop!

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