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LOCATION: Recipes >> Eggs Dairy >> Homemade Ricotta 03

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Homemade Fresh Ricotta
Yield: 4 cups

1 gallon whole pasteurized milk
1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt (more if you want a saltier taste)

Rinse the inside of the pot you intend to use with cold water (this
helps prevent the milk from scorching). Place 1 gallon milk in
large, heavy non-reactive pot on medium heat. Add salt and stir
briefly. Allow milk to heat up slowly, stirring occasionally. Soon
you will notice steam start to form above the surface and tiny
bubbles appearing on the milk. You want it to reach 180-185 degrees,
near scalding temperature, just before it comes to a boil. Check
the temperature with your thermometer.

When it reaches the correct temperature, take the pot off the
burner, add the vinegar and stir gently for only one minute. Add
salt. You will notice curds forming immediately. Cover with a dry
clean dish towel and allow the mixture to sit undisturbed for a
couple of hours. You can also begin preparing your ricotta in the
morning before going to work and let it sit until you come home.

When the ricotta has rested for 2 hours or more, take a piece of
cheesecloth, dampen it and place it inside a colander. With a
slotted spoon, ladle out the ricotta into the prepared colander.
Place the colander with ricotta inside of a larger pan so it can
drain freely. Let it drain for two hours or so depending on how
creamy or dry you want your cheese to be.

Lift the cheesecloth up by the four corners and twist gently. If
the liquid runs clear, squeeze a little more. If the liquid runs
milky, there is no more need to squeeze. Place in a tight sealed
container. Refrigerate. It will keep for up to 7 days. Ricotta does
not freeze well.

Notes:

I would advise against the use of low fat or part skim milk in
making the ricotta. The flavor comes from the cream in the whole
milk. For desserts, add 1 pint heavy whipping cream along with the
milk. I use this variation when I am making ricotta for a dessert
filling such as cannoli, cassata, or cream puffs. It is richer,
creamier, and a bit more decadent.

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