I already mentioned that I was recently given a cheese-making kit. We’ve been enjoying the magic of cheese (making) for a few weeks now. The process is surprisingly simple. The hardest part is schlepping a gallon of milk home from the grocery store. This recipe is from Ricki Carroll, owner of the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company, incorporating my own notes.
Ricki’s Whole Milk Ricotta
Makes 1 3/4 – 2 pounds cheese
1 gallon milk
1 tsp. citric acid*
1 tsp. cheese salt*
1 large pot, stainless steel is best
butter muslin* (this is a very fine cheesecloth)
long spoon, SS or plastic is good. Wood is too porous.
* These items are all included in the kit.
1. Pour milk into pan. Add citric acid & salt. Stir.
2. Heat the milk to 195 degrees. Stir often to prevent burning.
3. The milk will separate into curds and whey. When this happen turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
4. Line a colander with cheesecloth. Gently ladle the curds into the cloth.
5. Tie the cloth into a bag and hang to drain for 30 minutes or more, depending on desired consistency. I rigged a hanging system with a spatula. I imagine a hook suspended from the ceiling above the sink would really be the best option. I found 30 minutes produces a very firm, dry cheese. You could try hanging it for even less time.
6. After draining, the cheese is ready to eat. It will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator, if it has not been consumed before then.