One of my goals this year is to start experimenting with making my own cheese. I'd really LOVE to take a class sometime, and I bought a kit online for making mozzarella. The year is beginning to wind down, and I realized that I haven't started on this goal yet. Where does all the time go?! From what (little) research I've done ricotta cheese is suppose to be the easiest (and quickest) cheese to make. So, at the very least I thought I could give that I try this week.I took the plunge, and I am happy to report that making ricotta at home is SUPER easy! It's so encouraging to have a little success when you're trying something new.There are tons of resources out there to learn how to make ricotta. I followed a short tutorial from the September edition of the Food Network Magazine. I found my batch needed a bit more vinegar and time to properly curdle, so I've added those tweaks to the directions below.Homemade Ricotta Cheese, makes 2 1/2 to 3 cups.
6 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
First over a large glass bowl place a fine mesh sieve covered with a few layers of cheese cloth.In a large non reactive pot (stainless steel or ceramic works best here) combine the milk, heavy cream and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is warmed through. Turn up the heat just a little add the lemon juice and vinegar. You don't really need to stir much, just every minute or so to be sure the bottom of the mixture isn't burning. Your milk should curdle after 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into your prepared sieve.Allow this to drain for 15-20 minutes. Once drained you can store your cheese in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to seven days.Ricotta cheese is pretty cool, in that it can easily be used in both savory or sweet combinations. You can stir a little ricotta into your favorite pasta dish or on top of pizza. For a breakfast/snack option try topping toast with Nutella, ricotta and strawberries OR ricotta, blueberries and honey. Yum! Enjoy. xo. Emma
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman