Friday, July 10, 2009

Making ricotta!

Scooping the ricotta cheese curds out of the whey on the stove.

Last month, my husband made a great batch of fresh ricotta cheese from our goats milk. He did it using apple cidar vinegar (store bought but perhaps we can make our own this fall) and it was surprisingly easy. I don't remember all the temperatures or specific steps, but I can outline a general recap using the photos I snapped during the process.

Basically (like most cheeses), he heated up the milk and then added the vinegar. Once it curdled, he began gently scooping out the curds as shown in the above photo.

Ricotta curds in the cheese-cloth lined collander.

The curds went directly into a cheese cloth lined collander set in a stainless bowl. Because this is a soft cheese, the curds were only strained for a short while and they were not pressed at all. After straining, he stirred in a little salt and a little melted butter. Voila! Fresh ricotta!

Fresh ricotta cheese - ready for the lasgna!
We stored the ricotta covered in the fridge. I did taste it and it was more light and delicous than the store-bought variety. The next day, he made us a big pan of lasagna with the ricotta and it was delicious! The next goal will be to make our own mozzarella for the lasgna. And then...when the tomatoes are ripe - our own sauce from our backyard! Mmmm, I can't wait! Maybe that can be a goal for when my parents are visiting in August - truly homemade lasgna.


CheeseMonger said...

I'm going to be that annoying person and tell you what you've made is Farmer's Cheese. Ricotta is made from whey.

When I do this, however, I use lemon juice as the acidulant, I just like the flavor better.

But rock on Cat, I love that you're doing it!

Cat said...

Cheese - you are the expert, of course! Thanks for the correction. I've got a few goats milk recipe books that also need correcting, actually!

At least it tasted and looked like ricotta! We would have been sorely disappointed had it not turned out. ;-)


CheeseMonger said...

I think it's super cool that you're making your own cheese, whatever it is! Lots of books and recipes for ricotta use whole milk to make it, so it's a common misnomer. I'm just too geeky about it.