Homemade Fresh Ricotta,
- lestblight Feb 25, 2011 09:15 AM
Wanted to try making this while i was making yogurt as well.
found this recipe
would like to hear your input on this.
It does not specify what kind of Milk to use.
does it matter for Ricotta?
I figured you would need something with more bacteria in it.
also.. this recipe seems to make alot of ricotta.. i wont need that much...
Can i cut all ingredients in half to make less volume easily?
also.. for storing.. how many days does it keep ? can i freeze?
thanks for the input.
I make small amounts of ricotta as I need it. Generally, I only use milk saving the cream addition for special occasions. I have found lemon juice to highly variable; sometimes I need more. Other times less. Lately, I have been using cider vinegar instead, unless I want the lemon flavor specifically.
So I usually use about 2 cups of milk. Heat, add about 1/8 cup vinegar, strain and then salt to taste [or add herbs, dried garlic, etc.] I find that straining for about 20 minutes is usually sufficient.
It will last a few days in the fridge if you know that you want some extra. Since I make just what I need, I haven't tested freezing.
I freeze this cheese often with good results, though have never kept it more than about a month.
you can use any milk you want, even skim, although skim definitely won't taste very good--cow's milk that is. i have never tried with goat or sheep, presumably it would work and be yummy, but i can't speak from experience.
bacteria levels don't matter since there's no fermentation involved--the acid is what produces the curdling.
btw technically this is curd cheese or paneer, not ricotta--true ricotta is made from whey. it's delicious in all kinds of dishes (including not surprisingly saag paneer, and all kinds of baked, breakfast, dessert-y things) but i'd choose a good fresh cheese-store or farmers-market ricotta over homemade curd cheese for any italian savory dishes.
oh, and, i like to curdle it with citric acid (a crushed-up vitamin c pill, or buy it powdered at indian grocery stores or on line) because citric adid is completely flavorless. still excellent when curdled with juice or vinegar, but if you want that totally neutral flavor, the citric acid is worth a try.
I think the salt is far more important than the curdling agent. I love to use a nice sea salt. And, 2 cups of milk... try all the methods here and pick the one you like. It is so easy.
To make ricotta from whey, you need to make a cultured cheese. Now you are moving into a new level of commitment. You will need cheese cultures, enough whey to get a decent quantity of ricotta... far more work than the 20 minute fresh milk ricotta.
If you are eager to start making cheese, I highly recommend http://www.cheesemaking.com/ for books, cultures, and general knowledge.
I've used homemade ricotta for pizza and really enjoy it. I use 2% cow's milk (just personal preference). Have not frozen it, either.
re: not using it for pizza, it's just a matter of taste. i think whey ricotta has a slightly different taste and texture from this stuff, but it's pretty close!