Saturday, 27 October 2012

Whole Milk Ricotta

Whole Milk Ricotta is very easy to make.  However I used a recipe during my latest cheese making workshop that simply amazed me.

Normally, I find that Ricotta made with Whole milk and white vinegar is quite tasteless.  So I looked for a better recipe, which I believe I have found.

The finished Ricotta is creamy, sweet and easy to make.  You only need three ingredients.  Whole milk (obviously), citric acid, and cheese salt.

Here is the method;

Easy Whole Milk Ricotta


Yield: 4 cups or around 700 gm
Preparation Time: about 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 4 litres (1 gallon) full cream milk 
  • 2 tspns Citric Acid 
  • 1 tspn Cheese Salt 
Procedure:

1. Add milk to a large stainless steel pot

2.  Add 2 tspn of citric acid per 4 litres of milk (dissolved in 1 cup cool water). Add 1/2 of this Citric Acid solution to the milk (save the rest of the citric acid). Stir briskly for 5-10 seconds.

3. Add 1 tspn salt

4.  Heat the milk slowly on low to med stirring well to prevent scorching.

5.  At 70-75°C watch for small flakes forming in the milk and the separation of small curds.
If after a few minutes you do not see the flakes forming, add more of the Citric acid until they form (do this in small 1 Tbsp increments to avoid over acid milk).  You will use less for raw milk, and more for pasteurised/homogenised milk.

6.  Continue heating to 90-93°C then turn the heat off. The thermal mass of the whey will hold at this temperature for quite some time.

7.  As the curds rise, use a perforated ladle to gently move them from the sides to the centre of the pot. These clumps of curd will begin to consolidate floating on top of the liquid.
Let the curds rest for 10-15 min.
*** This is very important because this is the point where the final Ricotta quality is assured 

8.  Ladle the curds gently into draining moulds lined with muslin. Let the curds drain for 15 min up to several hours.

For a fresh light ricotta, drain it for a short while (until the free whey drainage slows) and chill to below 10°C. For a rich, dense and buttery texture allow it to drain for an extended period of time (several hours), before chilling overnight. Move to a refrigerator. Consume within 10 days

I had to use all of the Citric Acid solution for it to work, however it was fine.

I was simply amazed at the quality of this Ricotta.  I chose to drain it for about an hour, and it formed a solid block of cheese in my Ricotta hoop.  It could even be cut into wedges and lifted, but crumbled easily with a smooth texture.

I could eat it by the spoonful.


13 comments:

  1. So I could make this with store bought milk?

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    1. Yes Becky. No problem at all. That is exactly what I used. As long as the milk is not ultra pasteurized or UHT, it should be fine.

      Gav

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  2. What is cheese salt Gavin and where can I get it? I live in Tasmania so I would imagine I would have to buy it online?

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    1. Hi narf. Cheese salt is course non-iodised salt. You may be able to pick it up at a specialty store, and definitely on-line. Try Green living Australia and tell them Gavin sent you!

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  3. Very instructional as usual Gavin and very clear. Are you going to do a video?

    Many years ago when I was in hospital the person in the next bed was supposed to be on a low fat diet and when they brought his dinner loaded with cheese I, being the know-it-all I was, said, hey cheese is full of fat, whereupon I was told to mind my own business. In the intervening years I learnt that Ricotta cheese was made from whey being an otherwise waste product from making regular cheese, and that it was FAT FREE. I naturally assumed therefore that my hospital neighbour was being given Ricotta. Now I see I have to change my thinking yet again as your latest Ricotta is made with full cream milk. I wonder, can it truly be called Ricotta if it is made with anything other than whey? and should a full cream milk Ricotta be given another name?

    David

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    1. Hi David, I have a free weekend coming up, so good idea about the video.

      You are probably right about this version of Ricotta. It is not fat free at all! The resulting whey was crystal clear when drained so there was not much left in it.

      Gav

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  4. Thanks for the great blog Gavin I'm keen to start making cheese and I'm wondering where you buy your supplies from in Australia

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    1. Cheers Edgie. I get most of my supplies from Green Living Australia.

      Gav

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  5. Beside citric acid, some blogger use apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.

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    1. Yes, vinegar or lemon juice will work as well, but does not produce the creamy consistency that this recipe does.

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  6. Hi Gavin, really like this recipe, but sometimes have problems with the curds and whey separating fully - my whey is still milky and of course the yield is then low. I use the full 2 tspns citric acid (and have sometimes tried even a little more), follow all the Green Living suggestions about using different batches of whole milk etc, and follow your recipe above to the letter - and sometimes it separates and sometimes it doesn't. If I add more citric acid… how much citric acid is too much?! Thanks for any help you can offer, Leanne

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    1. Hi Leanne. If I am using milk of a dubious quality i.e. store bought milk, I add about 2ml of Calcium Chloride in quarter cup of water to help the curds develop better. That will negate having to add more citric acid.

      Gav

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    2. thanks Gavin, will give that a try!

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