Ricotta cheese is a soft, creamy, slightly-sweet Italian cheese with a very fine curd. It is quite versatile and can be found in both savory dishes such as lasagne, and sweet desserts such as cannoli.
Though Ricotta cheese is traditionally compiled from the whey left over from traditional cheesemaking, hobbyist fromagineers can create an adequate simulation using whole milk and a variety of household acids.
In this tutorial we will coagulate milk proteins by manipulating the temperature and acidity of cow’s milk, then compile and containerize the resulting curd.
Before getting started, you will need to prepare your development environment. Gather the following prerequisite ingredients, which should be available in most well-stocked food repositories:
You will also need the following hardware:
Prepare your straining apparatus before proceeding. First, line the strainer with cheesecloth. If your cheesecloth is loosely woven (as is often the case with grocery store cheesecloth), you should use multiple layers to ensure the filter does not let any errant curds slip through.
Set the lined strainer in a bowl that’s large enough to hold all of our liquid.
Note: You may use the excess whey to make bread and soft drinks, or to feed pigs and other useful omnivores.
Next, we will combine our ingredients and apply heat.
In your pot, combine milk, cream, and salt.
Put the pot on your heat source and add energy until the mixture boils, stirring periodically to prevent scorching.
Add the vinegar or lemon juice to the boiling mixture, then lower heat to a simmer, continuing to stir occasionally. The milk and cream will start to curdle quite quickly, and in two or three minutes the process will be complete. You should now have a pot full of small white curds floating in a yellowy-green whey. You may now proceed to the next step, where we will filter the curds from the whey.
Empty the pot into the lined strainer. The white curds will be caught in our filter, while the liquid whey will end up in the bowl beneath. Let the curds drain for at least an hour.
When your Ricotta is done draining, it is ready to eat! Try it with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, or some sweet or savory jams. You may store the cheese by transferring it to a sealed container, and refrigerating for up to two days.
In this tutorial we built and containerized Ricotta cheese. You should now be ready to deploy this versatile product into appetizer, main dish, or dessert environments.
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