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Ricotta Cheese Recipe

The Ricotta cheese is great because basically you are using leftovers- whey flushed out of milk used for another cheese.  Two cheeses from one gallon of milk- that’s how to be prudent!  Technically a ‘whey cheese’, Ricotta is interesting in that it is made from two types of protein.  The first is from acidifying the cheese- casein- the protein found in virtually all cheeses.  However (and here’s the crafty bit) another protein is released at a higher temperature, called albumin.  And this is why Ricotta is called as such, literally “recooked” in Italian, as you take the heated whey and heat it some more.

Tip: Make sure you use whey that is not more than three hours old. Avoid whey made from a mozzarella recipe that uses citric acid- while you will get ‘some’ yield this whey will be a little too acidic to get great results.

Note: Ricotta molds have wide slits, unlike smaller holes in other molds.  This is to allow for faster drainage.

There are two recipes here one using FRESH leftover whey, another from scratch:

A) RICOTTA RECIPE FROM FRESH LEFTOVER WHEY:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pint of Milk per gallon of Whey
  • ⅓ cup Lemon Juice
  • Cheese Salt
  • Sanitize all equipment
PROCEDURE:
  1. Heat whey to 185 degrees°F (85°C), stirring occasionally to prevent burning on bottom of pan.
  2. Add 1 pint of milk (per gallon of whey) to increase final ricotta yield.
  3. When whey returns to 190 degrees Fahrenheit, add ⅓ cup of lemon juice and stir until curd mat rises to surface.
  4. Remove from heat and scoop curds into ricotta mold lined with cheese cloth.
  5. Add teaspoon of cheese salt per pound, stir in and leave to drain in fridge.
  6. Ricotta has a short shelf life, but may be frozen for future use.

 

B) RICOTTA RECIPE FROM SCRATCH:

 INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Gallon of Milk
  • ⅓ cup Lemon Juice
  • 8 drops Liquid Rennet
  • Sanitize all equipment

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT:

Ricotta Mold

PROCEDURE:

  1. Stir rennet into milk then heat to 90 degrees F.  Remove from heat and leave for 10 minutes, the milk should split into curds and whey.
  2. Add lemon juice, stir gently and continue to heat slowly to 190 degrees F.  The curds will rise to the surface at this temperature.  Hold at this temperature for 15 minutes then remove from heat.
  3. Ladle curds into a cheesecloth lined ricotta mold. Add teaspoon of cheese salt per pound, stir and allow to drain in fridge.
  4. Ricotta has a short shelf life, but may be frozen for future use.