The first cheese I ever made was mozzarella. I then made almost-ricotta from a failed batch of mozzarella. (The curds didn’t come together to stretch, but it was still useable cheese… just not mozzarella!) I decided I should try to make actual ricotta cheese, and turned to Home Dairy by Ashley English. Turns out, it’s waaaay easier than mozzarella. If you want to feel successful as a starting cheese maker, try this!
What you need:
- 8 c. whole milk
- 1 c. heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 c. lemon juice
- 1/4 t. calcium chloride diluted in 1/4 c. cold, sterilized water
- 1/2 t. kosher salt
- dutch oven
- slotted metal spoon
- kitchen thermometer
- large bowl
- cheese cloth or butter muslin
- measuring cups and spoons
Time: 90-120 minutes total (prep/cook time: 60 minutes, drain time: 20-40 minutes)
Freezeable: I have not frozen it. You can, but some liquid will collect at the top. Either stir into the cheese or drain it again with cheese cloth.
Serves: Makes 1 lb. of ricotta cheese
Multiplying the recipe: You would need separate stock pots for multiple batches.
In a stock pot, stir together the milk, cream, and lemon juice with a slotted metal spoon. Heat the mixture slowly to 170F over medium-low heat. The goal is to heat the mixture slowly and not overheat – it should take 25-30 minutes.
Add the diluted calcium chloride and stir for one minute. Continue to heat the mixture to 200F. It should take about 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let it rest for 20 minutes.
Place a colander inside a large bowl and line it with butter muslin or two layers of cheese cloth. Ladle or pour the curds into the prepared colander. Allow it to drain for 20 minutes. You might need to empty the bowl of the drained whey if it is not deep enough to allow space for the draining cheese.
Transfer the curds to a medium bowl. Stir in the salt. Use it immediately, or store it sealed in the refrigerator for up to a week. Yum!