Ricotta: First Try

Hi everyone!

It’s my very first time trying to make a cheese.  I read that Ricotta is a good one to try first.  It is traditionally made from the whey left over from making a hard cheese, but you can also make it from whole milk.

I didn’t decide to blog about cheesemaking until after the project was done, so I only have pictures of the finished product, but it was super yummy!

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Here’s the basic process:

Add some citric acid to the milk to lower the pH.  Heat it slowly until it curdles.  When it curdles to the point of having greenish, mostly clear whey, turn off the heat and let it sit undisturbed for while. Line a colander with extra fine cheese cloth and strain the ricotta until it’s the consistency you want!

This process is from the recipe for whole milk ricotta by Ricki Carroll from her book Home Cheese Making.  I wish I could publish the whole recipe (exactly as it is written in the book) for you, but I want to respect copyright law!  🙂  The version I linked you to on her website includes everything, but it’s not quite as concise as the one in the book.

What I learned.

  • A 5 quart pot is really not large enough to heat up a gallon of milk.  I thought it would be, since a gallon is 4 quarts, but my pot was almost overflowing!!
  • Don’t get too impatient and turn the heat up too hot.  It will scorch the bottom. Grr.
  • Also, while we’re on the topic of impatience, I started transferring the curds to the cheesecloth before letting them sit undisturbed for 10 minutes.  Oops!
  • Making ricotta is pretty easy!

Although I don’t have any pictures of the process, I DO have a couple of pictures of what we made with our ricotta.

We drained the ricotta on the longer side so it was extra firm and used it to make Sweet Potato, Ricotta, and Arugula Flatbread.  Yum, yum, yum!!  So delicious!

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