Sunday, March 1, 2009

RECIPES TO RIVAL: Ricotta Cheese

A very cool month at Recipes to Rival. Our challenge this month was to make ricotta cheese. I was very excited to hear about the challenge as I have been wanting to make ricotta for quite some time. Thanks Lauren of I'll Eat You Delish and Temperance of High on the Hog.

It was a fairly easy process with a great yield. For a full story on our blog, click here. I used whole milk as I wanted a big bang for my buck. The higher the percentage of fat, the larger the yield. My yield was about 1 1/2 pounds of ricotta. Not bad! The one thing I would have done differently is that I would have put salt in it. I will be spending some time perfecting this recipe to suit my tastes. By the way, mine never reached 185F. I understand you are not suppose to boil it so I wonder how it could reach 185F. I settled on 110 because that was as close to boiling as I was going to get and I already had quite a bit of curds.

In doing this challenge I began doing some research about cheese and found this pretty informative site. Can you see that this cheese making will be in my near future. I felt the ricotta that we made tasted more like queso fresco than ricotta. This is why I would like to experiment some more.
this whey has a future in a bread recipe.

Recipe for Ricotta Making

1 gallon milk (you can use 1 percent on up, remember that the more fat in the milk, the more cheese it will yield.)
1 quart buttermilk

cheesecloth (if it seems to loose to catch all the curds, double it up)

Place buttermilk and milk in a pot, heat on med-low heat until it reaches 185 degrees.

It will begin to separate into curds and whey. Be sure to stir occasionally to make sure no curds stick to the bottom and burn. You will see that as the temperature approaches 185, the whey becomes clearer as the curds coagulate more.

Pour the curds into a cheesecloth lined colander. Tie the ends of the cheesecloth together and hang for 10-15 minutes. Remove from cheesecloth and place in an airtight container.


13 comments:

kat said...

This was such a fun challenge, you're right the cheese needed a touch of salt. I wonder if that will change the process at all?

Proud Italian Cook said...

This is one thing on my "to make list". Your's looks perfect! I will take your advice on the salt.

Maryann said...

Wow! This is wonderful! I bet that was the best tasting ricotta ever :)

Lucy said...

Lori, this looks absolutely wonderful! I've had this on "my to do list" seemingly like forever... I must make a point to check it off ;-)

Bunny said...

You made ricotta cheese, that's impressive Lori, I need to try this!

Heather B said...

I loved this challenge! I've wanted to make ricotta for awhile too. Definitely more experiments with it in my future too! Great job this month!

Sara said...

Nice job, you yielded so much cheese!
Sara/Imafoodblog.com

Grace said...

good for you, lori, and excellent usage! until i break out of the laziness i've had since birth, i'll probably stick to buying my ricotta. :)

Lauren said...

great job! I do salt my cheese if I am going to use it in a savory recipe or eat as it, but I don't if it's destined for something sweet. It doesn't change the process, you just salt the finished cheese to taste.

Maria said...

You made ricotta? You are amazing!!

Madam Chow said...

I love the photos! I, too, was surprised out how easy this was, and how much I like it!

Temperance said...

I love the look of your pizza, and can't wait to hear how the bread turns out.

Shawnee said...

Looks like your cheese turned out wonderfully. I'll keep my eye out for that bread you mentioned.

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