Friday, February 17, 2006

Fresh Goats Milk Ricotta

I just love cheese, and like any adventurous and ardent cheese lover, I have daydreamed about making my very own. When I pulled a recipe for the weekend that called for ricotta, I couldn't resist the idea of concocting a fluffy, creamy goats milk cheese.

I used half goats milk and half cows milk, mostly because I wasn't sure how it would turn out if I only used the goats milk--I was kind of flying by the seat of my pants here. This is seriously very, very easy--but you MUST be diligent. The milk will do nothing, do nothing, do nothing, then suddenly, the magic happens and you have curds and it is time to drain it right away. I would have photographed this moment, but it really came upon me too quickly. Cheesemaking is "Mr. Wizard" fun.

Start out by folding about 4 yards of cheesecloth into a large square that is about 6 layers thick. Wet the cloth and then line a large colander with it. Place over the sink.

In a large, heavy saucepan, heat 1 quart whole goats milk, 1 quart 2% cows milk, and .5 quart buttermilk over medium high heat. Stir frequently with a flexible rubber spatula, and make sure than it isn't scorching on the bottom.

You will know that it is time when the soft, fluffy curds suddenly float to the top, with the cloudy, watery whey underneath (this happens around 175-180 degrees, but I didn't use a thermometer). Gently ladle all of the curds and whey into the cheesecloth lined colander, taking care to not compress the curds.

Once the draining has slowed, tie up the corners of the cheesecloth and hang from your faucet for about 10-15 minutes, or until the dripping has stopped. Transfer into an airtight container and use within the week.


Beth - Zen Foodism said...

You're inspiring me! I'm interested in trying to make ricotta some day, too.

Marianne said...

You should give it a try! All told, it took less than half an hour, and it was pretty fun. Like a science experiment gone right, you know?

Anonymous said...

Lovely writing, my dear--your instructions are so clear, you've inspired even me, the anti-cook.


Melissa said...

Sweet Mrs Canada, I pretty much wish that you'd record yourself whilst making a meal, send it in to FoodTV and get your ass a show.

Please make that happen.

Marianne said...

But then the world would be a witness to me getting powdered sugar on the cieling, flour up my nose, and burning myself in the most clumsy of ways! Oh, the horror.

Anonymous said...

Better that than high-waisted mom jeans and a hackle-raising vocabulary, darling.