You know that moment when you eat something you’ve made from scratch for the first time? That moment when the first bite hits you senses and the flavors you never new existed dance across your taste buds? That moment when suddenly you shouting out loud “Oh my goodness!!! How have I been missing out on this my whole life?!?!?” In that moment all you care about is how to get the next bite in your mouth as soon as possible?
I experienced that moment this past weekend while standing over a bowl of warm, freshly made, ricotta cheese. If you would also like to experience this same moment follow the instructions below 🙂
Homemade Ricotta Cheese
Makes about 4-1/2 cups of Ricotta Cheese
1 Gallon Whole Milk
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Tablespoon Sea Salt
1/2 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
Special Tools :
In a large heavy pot set over medium low heat bring the milk and cream up to 190 degrees F. Stir the pot occasionally to make sure the milk on the bottom doesn’t scorch.
Meanwhile place a couple of layers of damp cheese cloth over a strainer fitted over a very large bowl.
When the milk and cream have reached 185 degrees stir in the salt. Then as soon as the milk reaches 190 degrees remove from the heat and slowly stir in the 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice. Stir gently to form the cheese curds for about 2-3 minutes then ladle the curds into the strainer lined with cheese cloth set over another large bowl.
Strain the cheese for at least 30 minutes for a soft ricotta cheese and upto 24 hours for a denser, dryer ricotta cheese.
I strained my ricotta cheese for about 45 minutes then topped with Red Hawaiian Sea Salt, Fresh Cracked Black Pepper, Lemon Zest, and a Fruity Olive Oil. Serve with crusty bread, crackers, or just eat it by the spoonful when no one is looking.
The whey leftover from making the cheese can be strained and reserved for other uses. For example, replacing the warm whey for warm water in you favorite bread recipes.
I used some of the warm leftover whey to make some crusty loafs of french bread.
Then made a dinner of toasted bread, ricotta, crispy pancetta, and fresh tomatoes.
Life is good.