So, I made my own cheese again. Ricotta Cheese this time 🙂 So, this week, I’m making Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberry Butter! I guess those Crepes and Aebleskiver last week made me think of breakfast.
Sometimes, I seriously impress myself.
Ok, back to the cheese. Ricotta cheese is similar to the Mascarpone and Quark Cheeses that I’ve made. You start off with milk add a little bit of magic and the next thing you know – POOF – you have cheese!
While I was making this, I was thinking back to a time I was working at a banquet hall while in college. I don’t remember the event, but a lady ordered a cup of tea. I brought her the hot water, tea, cream and a lemon. Well, she was shocked to find that the milk had gone bad because when she added the cream to her lemon and hot tea, it curdled.
Well, I really had to bite my tongue and apologize for the poor cup of tea, but the lady must never had made cheese before! That’s exactly how Ricotta cheese is made!
Here’s a little science lesson for you. Reducing the acidic level of hot milk causes the milk to curdle (source). And in this science experiment, it’s a good thing!
I just made a small amount of Ricotta Cheese. As I researched recipes and watched a few videos, I realized that I don’t need that much ricotta cheese, so I cut the recipe in half. Still 4 cups of milk produced just 3/4 cup of cheese. Double the recipe if you want more for homemade lasagna or manicotti.
I really like THIS blog where I got the final recipe from. She has easy to follow step-by-step photos of the process.
Why buy Ricotta when you can make your own in less than 30 minutes?
- 1 1/4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- 4 cups pasteurized whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Pour your lemon juice and vinegar into a small bowl and set aside.
- Pour your milk and salt into a medium sized pot over medium high heat and bring to a bubble. The milk should bubble around 185 deg F.
- Remove from heat and pour in the lemon and vinegar. Stir to get the juice mixed and let it sit for 5 minutes. Stir again and see if the whey has turned watery and is no longer milky. If it's still milky, add a tablespoon of vinegar, stir and let sit.
- Line a colander with two sheets of cheesecloth. Slowly pour the curds and whey into the colander. You can let the cheese drip to drain or you squeeze out as much of the whey as you'd like. I squeezed out a lot resulting in a dryer cheese.