Ricotta #makeyourown

After making a case for raw cream, this is a plea for raw milk and the ridiculously easy process of making ricotta 🇮🇹  Spoiler alert: just microwave dat sh*t.

I’ve tried two recipes and methods described by J. Kenji López-Alt in his incredible book ‘The Food Lab‘ and messed up one of them so you don’t have to ♥️

The deal is that when you add acidity to milk, curds start to separate from whey (WHEEEEEY \o/). For some cheeses rennet is used to start this coagulation process, which traditionally comes from stomachs of young animals (NAAAAAY) but now also has vegetal alternatives (YAAAAAY \o/).

For one portion of ricotta (about 5 tablespoons), you need:

  • 4 cups of whole milk – use rrrrraw 💥  if you can (more about raw cream / milk in this butter post)
  • something acidic: vinegar or the juice of two lemons (for lemony fennel ravioli)
  • salt

The method:

  1. The stove method: Add cup of vinegar and half a teaspoon of salt to 4 cups of milk. You could mess this up by using the wrong type of vinegar like I did and end up with ricotta tasting of, well, vinegar – even if you’re extremely willing not to taste it, like I was. I suggest you use the distilled kind that has about 5 tot 6 % acidity (vs the 12% I used). Heat this in a saucepan, constantly stirring, until it reaches 74 °C. Wait about two minutes for the curds to come floating to the surface. Transfer this to a sieve in which you’ve laid down a folded cheese / nettle cloth to get a very fine mesh. You ideally get just the curds out but I very gently poured it in there, which adds more liquid and thus a longer draining time. Cover this with cling film and let drain to your preferred texture, depending on what you’re going to use your ricotta for (from 5 mins = quite liquid – to hours = very crumbly and dry).
  2. The microwave method: I used this method for the lemon ricotta, knowing I was going to make this lemony fennel ravioli. Just mix milk, the juice of two lemons and half a teaspoon of salt and microwave for about 4 to 6 minutes on high until it reaches 74°C (mine took a few more minutes). Follow the steps described above.



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