Dairy project du jour

I finally made cheese!

 

So what if it’s the easiest cheese to make, with the least ingredients!  It tastes great!

 

With only 2 ingredients, a stove and butter muslin, I have made the yummiest ricotta!

 

Ricotta is one of the few cheeses that does not require rennin to set the curd.  For ricotta you need only slowly heat 1 quart of buttermilk mixed in a gallon of whole milk to 180 degrees.  After the milks are combined, you don’t even have to stir it!  How easy is that?  Magically the curds appear near the surface, floating in a sea of whey. 

 

No way!

 

Yes, whey! (sorry, couldn’t resist!  We loved that movie line in New in Town!)

 

Yesterday I bought a quart of cultured buttermilk — not the stuff with all of the artificial thickeners, mind you, but real cultutured milk.  I didn’t want to use the whole quart and be left with no more buttermilk, so I first let it culture with whole milk on the counter overnight to double my quantity — 3:1 milk to buttermilk, allowed to stand in a jar with the lid just covering (not screwed down) will result in some nice thick buttermilk!

 

I mixed a quart of this into a gallon of whole milk and started heating it to a little over 180.  The curds were then scooped into a colander lined with butter muslin cloth and allowed to stand until the ricotta was at the desired consistency.

 

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It tastes great – I’ve got lots of whey left over to add to our homemade bread instead of water.  Here it is, nestled in the fridge next to half of today’s bean pick.

 

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It tasted great even when it was warm!

Can’t wait to eat it when it’s chilled!

 

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