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.