A few weeks ago, a FB friend posted about seeing Ina Garten make Ricotta Cheese on the Food Network. She blended it with some herbs and made bruschetta, I think. I became interested because I had looked at it at the grocery not too long before and thought the price seemed kind of high for it. Well, I decided to make it. With regards to cost, it’s a little cheaper because all I used was whole milk, some white vinegar and a little salt. With regards to time, we all know popping a container open is way quicker.
I did a little online research and most everything I read said fresh is better. And usually it is. So, this is what I did:
Gallon of whole white milk $3.49
1/3 c. plus 1/4 tsp. white vinegar $0.20
1/4 tsp. salt
Pour the gallon of milk in a nonreactive pot. I used what I have that’s pretty much like Calphalon…no aluminum. People recommend stainless steel. Using a thermometer (I used a candy thermometer), slowly bring up to temperature between 180-185 degrees stirring occasionally to keep from scorching. When it comes to temperature, remove from heat and pour in vinegar and stir for one minute. Add salt and stir. You will notice some curds almost immediately. Cover with a dish towel and let it rest for 2 hours. When the two hours is up, line a colander with 4 layers of cheesecloth and put the colander over something to catch the liquid that will drain. Using a slotted spoon, I ladled the curds into the colander and drained over a large bowl, covered with a towel, for two hours. The longer you let it drain, the drier it will be. I squeezed it to get some of the additional liquid out.
The length of time it will refrigerate varies from website to website. I will use it in the next couple of days.
I put it into a Rubbermaid container that holds 2.9 cups and it was pretty full.
The cost is pretty close to buying the 15 oz. container at the grocery store, but it’s more time consuming, obviously. It has a nice creamy texture to it and it tasted okay. I think it could have used a wee bit more salt.
This is where I found the recipe I used. They said to use salt in two different steps, but I used it at the end. They also have some instructions for using the ricotta in desserts. There are sooo many different recipes, but I liked this one because it had very few ingredients and seemed so stinking simple. The most time consuming thing was stirring it while it was coming to temp so it wouldn’t scorch.
Will do a follow up post when I use it.