Recipes For My Boys: Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Friday, June 1, 2012

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

I have been wanting to make cheese since Joan, Chocolate, Chocolate and More, mentioned it several weeks ago.  I also found several recipes on the internet to make homemade cheese.  I never dreamed it would be so easy.   I decided to make homemade ricotta cheese with the ingredients I had on hand.  Using vanilla yogurt instead of whole milk regular, gave this a hint of vanilla that I really like.   The yogurt was also lowfat a plus since there is whole milk and heavy cream in it.  ~smile~  I also used coffee filters because I didn't have cheesecloth on hand.  Have fun and stick around.,,,,I'm going to try more cheese recipes very soon!  <3 and hugs!

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Homemade Ricotta Cheese

4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup lowfat vanilla or plain yogurt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 - 2 teaspoons vinegar

You will also need:

heavy stock pot
fine mesh strainer
deep container to catch the whey
cheesecloth or coffee filters

Line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth.  I used about 6 coffee filters.  It took a little work but I suppose it was because I was anxious.   Put strainer on top of a deep container.
Put all ingredients in heavy stock pot using 1 teaspoon vinegar to start with, I ended up using 2.  Slowly bring to a very gentle boil and let simmer 1-2 minutes until the milk starts to curdle.

 (don't know what that spot is on my lens)
Remove from heat and ladle it into the strainer.  It will look like curdled milk...not curds.
I stirred very gently.  When the whey slowed down I gently pushed on the sides of the strainer for about 15 minutes.   You should be able to just leave it alone if you use cheesecloth.  I probably could have left it alone with the coffee filters but as I mentioned before...I was anxious.  ~smile~ 

Fold and squeeze gently....very gently.
There is still quite a bit of whey left.
Very gently squeeze again.
Looks dry but it's still moist.

After 15 minutes or so, fold the sides over and together and squeeze gently until the desired amount of whey is removed.  
I read to save the whey to add to your bread recipes although I haven't done this.
Add more salt if desired.
Top your homemade ricotta with a drizzle of honey or eat it plain with fresh fruit.  Add a little confectioners sugar and you have a sweet filling.  Use it instead of whipped cream.  It's great when making a cake..Chocolate Ricotta Cake
Cover and keep in the refrigerator.   Use in 2-3 days.
I hope you like it...we do!  

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