Fresh creamy whole milk ricotta
Ricotta is not only incredibly simple to make it is not only delicious to eat but its a little bit of magic. I love to make it with the children, they love that moment when, just like magic the milk their are stirring splits in a moment it to curds and whey. They also love that after it has been scopped out it can be turned into something sweet or savory so there is a chance desert is on the way! Its a very simple cheese to start with as you cant really go wrong and the options of what to do with it are endless.
For the milk you can really use anything. You can use whole milk, skimmed milk, farmhouse milk or raw milk. It will work with them all. I prefer the sweet creamy results I get from raw milk. The milk comes from a local small dairy with milk produced on biodynamic principles. Its beautiful and fresh
To this you need to add acid. I like the clean fresh taste of lemon juice. However not all lemons are created equally so some cheese makers I know prefer to use vinegar or citric acid.
1/4 cup lemon juice (or white wine vinegar or 1tsp citric acid)
Things you need
You will also need a milk or cheese thermometer.
First thing with any cheesemaking of course, is to make sure EVERYTHING is VERY clean!
Next gently pour milk into a saucepan.
I really like to use cast iron for making cheese it distributes the heat well, holds the heat for cheeses that need to be kept warm during the process. It also seems to heat the milk without burning the bottom. perfect!
Heat the milk, stirring gently to stop it catching and burning on the bottom.
We want to heat the milk to 88deg C (190deg F), You will need the thermometer to test.
As soon as it hits 88Deg C take it off the heat. Drizzle the lemon juice over as much of the surface of the milk as possible.
Then take a slotted spoon and stir in an up and down round and round way to spread the juice through as much as you can and....hay presto! Like magic ricotta appears before your very eyes!
Line the colander with a double layer of muslin. Using a slotted spoon scoop out the ricotta curds into the muslin. Sprinle with salt if desired and stir through
The longer it drains the firmer it will become. Pop it into a container once it has reached the consistency you desire. Or simply tie the corners of the muslin together and hang it up If you want it to be thick enough to slice I transfer it to a mold to drain a little more. It can be turned out them and keep its shape.
Enjoy! Best eaten straight away but can keep in the fridge for 2-3 days