Homemade ricotta and more



Last week was a busy week at work and I spent less time in the kitchen, didn’t make

yogurt on our usual milk delivery days then ended up with 4 bottles of milk ans 2 bottles of cream past it’s expiry date.

I didn’t want to throw them away and after an intense google search I decided to give making ricotta cheese a go with all the milk and cream.

I followed the homemade ricotta recipe from one of the Italian cookbooks I have. How to Eataly by Mario Batali. I tried the same recipe once before and the result was a disaster so I kept my fingers crossed for the second time to go better.

I didn’t really follow the measurements exactly again, but I tried to stay as close to the recipe as I can with what I had which was 3 litres of milk and 500 ml double cream past it’s use by date but still tasted ok. I had to throw away a bottle of milk as it tasted off.

I heated up the milk & cream together to 85°, switched off the heat and added just under half cup of apple cider vinegar and a tablespoon of kosher salt (I use Diamond crystal) and stirred constantly for a minute then left it covered for 10 minutes.

I prepared 2 strainers over 2 bowls and lined 1 of them with cheesecloth. I started taking the curds out using a slotted spoon. as suggested in the book to not to disturb the curd. There were a lot of curd to start with but then there were less and much smaller bits. Recipe says to only use slotted spoon in order to not to disturb the curd but there were quite a lit of tiny curds left in my milk at this stage so I decided to strain the rest by pouring over the second strainer in the end. I added this final curd left in the strainer to the one lined with cheesecloth.

I left it all the curd in the cheesecloth over the strainer over the bowl overnight in the fridge.


I ended up with 500 gr of this quite dry cheese in the morning. I may leave it only for couple of hours next time to have a moist cheese.


Next day I made the aubergine wrapped ricotta gnocchi from Ottolenghi the cookbook. I spotted this dish last month on instagram on the #greatmindscookottolenghi cookbook challenge and had it on my wish list since then. It was really good and well worth the effort.


Recipe


Ingredients


3 lt full fat milk

500 ml double cream

100 ml cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon salt


Method


  1. Heat the milk and cream to 85° in a pan, turn off the heat.

  2. Add the vinegar and salt and stir constantly for a minute then cover and leave for 10 minutes.

  3. Put 2 strainers over 2 bowls and line one of them with cheesecloth.

  4. Using a slotted spoon take off as much curd as possible and put it in the cheesecloth.

  5. When there isn’t much curd left in it, pour the rest of the milk over the second strainer to catch the rest of the curd.

  6. Add this curd to the cheesecloth.

  7. Tie the cheesecloth and leave it in the strainer over the bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Or more if you’d like a dryer cheese.




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