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Aug 26, 2010 12:56 PM

Making homemade ricotta cheese and homemade cream cheese?

I know its on Chow somewhere as I read about it not long ago. (The ricotta) I cannot for the life of me find the how to's that were posted when I try using the search. Not sure what I'm typing thats messing me up. All I get is a list of recipes that have ricotta or cream cheese as an ingredient.
I'd be very grateful if one of you could direct me to these hard to find instructions!

Thank you

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    1. My favorite ricotta recipe by far from gourmet- make sure the milk comes to a FULL BOIL before adding acid

      2 quarts whole milk
      1 cup heavy cream
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

      Line a large sieve with a layer of heavy-duty (fine-mesh) cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl.
      Slowly bring milk, cream, and salt to a rolling boil in a 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Add lemon juice, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture curdles, about 2 minutes.
      Pour the mixture into the lined sieve and let it drain 1 hour. After discarding the liquid, chill the ricotta, covered; it will keep in the refrigerator 2 days.

      1. Thank you toveggiegirl & sixelagogo!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Joyfull

          A couple of years ago I was in NYC and we were lucky enough to score a table for Sunday brunch at Gabriella Hamilton's Prune. We ordered one of everything because everything sounded so good we couldn't make up our minds. A standout for me was the housemade ricotta served sweetened with a little honey and topped with fresh figs and slivered toasted almonds. Mmmm....

          I made the ricotta at home recently and some fresh fig & walnut jam and I ate it for breakfast together and it's just so darned good. I remember reading a tip from the ricotta thread on CH that said you cann stir some cream into the drained ricotta to give it a lovely, creamy texture.


        2. The food lab's Kenji (see link below) also did a cooksillustrated-like ricotta testing which was interesting, though I'm still a larger fan of lemon juice over vinegar (and cream added in the beginning). Perhaps the most interesting thing on the site was about drainage time.

          Since cheesecloth is annoying expensive and its hard to find the good stuff around here, I use a clean flour sack cloth in my colander. It adds a bit of time, but i find it works best (and i can wash & re-use it again)

          3 Replies
          1. re: sixelagogo

            sixelagogo, thanks for the link to Kenji. Love his idea of using the micro, hadn't thought of that at all. You mention you add cream in the beginning. Does the cream make the taste & texture better?
            I have my old jelly making stand for draining. Comes with fitted cloth bags for draining fruits etc. Just stick a bowl under the stand and bag to catch the liquid, and away you go. Much easier than fiddling with cheesecloth or coffee filters.

            1. re: Joyfull

              joy- never thought about using a jellybag+ stand- great idea! where did you buy yours from?
              As for the cream, i've tried adding it at the end and it just landed up straining away...when added with the milk, i feel that it gets emulsified before the acid is added and holds onto the fat.

              1. re: sixelagogo

                sixelagogo, I bought my jelly making stand in the early 70's. I would pick up a few more replacement bags every other canning season, depending on what shape my old bags were in. Its getting very hard to find the original bags now though, mine have grommets for securing to the corners of the stand. Most bags nowadays have an elastic top so not very good when you add weight to the bag, as they tend to fall off.

                I did a search and found a couple jelly making kits on amazon for around 8-9 bucks but they look quite flimsy compared to my old stand. Mine has good solid free standing legs. The stands on the amazon kits have legs with shaped feet that fit onto a pie plate to catch the liquid. The amazon kits don't have the greatest reviews either. One gal said she gave up on the stand & ended up fitting her bag onto a 4 gallon glass pickle jar, that it worked much better than the stand as the bag fit the mouth of the jar perfectly. I also found a chinois & stand that says its good for making jelly, but it was quite expensive.

                I think the jelly bags and large pickle jar would be your cheapest & best bet, if you can find one of the jars. Or you could just buy the bags themselves and fit them over whatever you have on hand that would work. The bags can be washed and re-used quite a few times so they are cheaper than cheesecloth in the long run.

                Hope that helps some.
                Thanks for the tip on the cream!