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  1. #1
    Deal GURU
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default HomeMade Ricotta Cheese

    Ricotta Cheese

    1 gallon whole milk or skim (1 gal. whole milk = about 1lb cheese)

    white vinegar or fresh lemon juice

    a large colander lined with fine cheesecloth. butter muslin is
    preferred, or some other substitute, a ham bag or jelly bag will work
    just fine.

    Put the milk in a large, non-reactive sauce pan and heat slowly to
    200 degrees, stirring to prevent it scorching on the bottom. When the
    milk is hot enough, add about 1/4 cup of vinegar or lemon juice. If
    the milk is really at 200 degrees, it will instantly curdle, the milk
    protein and fat separating from the water in smallish white blobs and
    foam. If this does not happen, keep heating. Use a thermometer, dairy
    or candy works fine, but some of them are not quite accurate. If you
    put the vinegar in when the milk is close to the correct temperature,
    as soon as it reacts, you know it is done. It is not necessary to
    continue heating once the reaction occurs, however, you will want to
    let it sit for a few minutes, with an occasional stir.

    Place your lined colander in the sink, drain open please, and
    carefully pour the entire contents (DO NOT skim anything off) of the
    pot into it. Take your time, and allow the water to drain through the
    cheesecloth. It will go pretty quickly if you have used butter
    muslin. If it goes too quickly and nothing is left behind, you will
    know that your cheesecloth is too coarse and your cheese has gone
    down the drain! Do not despair, this has happened to many experienced
    cheese makers, just get finer cheesecloth and try again.

    Assuming that all goes well, allow the ricotta to drain and cool
    until you can handle the cheesecloth comfortably. Gather the ends of
    the cloth up and tie into a bag which must be suspended over the sink
    until it stops dripping. You can hang it on the faucet or drape it
    from a wooden spoon laid across the sink, whatever works. The ricotta
    will be finished draining in about an hour and be ready to use in any
    recipe that calls for this type of cheese. You can add a bit of salt
    if you like. Of, if the cheese is to be used in a desert, add a
    little cream and mix in well to make a richer product.

    If you are not going to use the cheese immediately, pack into a
    container and either refrigerate or freeze. This cheese freezes well
    and will always be available that way. It keeps in the fridge a few

    One way to use milk that is starting to go over is to make ricotta
    from it. If you don't have a full gallon, just reduce the vinegar a
    bit - this is not critical, however, too much won't hurt. The only
    real difference is that you will get less cheese from less milk. Any
    cheese at all is better than pouring milk down the drain.

    Written by Pamela Matlack
    All of my posts were transferred from
    the budget101 Discussion list

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