Whole milk ricotta cheese

Missed the cheese class? Here is a recipe from the class instructors to try at home. Making cheese, like making bread, depends a lot on technique and feel, so don’t expect perfection on your first try. Remember you should not use ultrapasteurized milk. Avoid milk with a “U” on the carton labeling. It is fine if the cream is ultrapasturized because it is added after the cheese is essentially complete.

½ gallon whole milk (not ultrapasteurized)
2-4 T white vinegar
2 T cream
½ t salt

Heat the milk and vinegar to 185—195°F. Enough vinegar must be added to curdle the milk; that’s why a range of 2-4 tablespoons is given. Also, note that the milk will curdle more as the temperature gets higher; you will need to be patient and watch it carefully.

Turn off heat and let set a while, until there is no milky whey (approximately 10 minutes).

Drain in butter muslin, just until it stops quickly dripping.

Place in a bowl, add the cream and salt, and mix gently.

Place in the refrigerator. Note that the cheese will firm up a bit in the fridge, so do not drain it too long in the previous step, or it may end up firmer than you want.

From the cheese-making class, printed in the Spring 2013 Roots & Sprouts newsletter, a service of the Belmont Food Collaborative.

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