This summer, I had classes until mid August and soon after I got done, all I wanted to do was to try making an assortment of cheeses from scratch. I made Arabic white cheese, fresh mozzarella cheese, mascarpone cheese and ricotta cheese. Surprisingly, they were all easy to make and all of them used about the same ingredients. One morning I woke up thinking about making fresh parmesan at home too and then I LOL’d to myself when I realized it took 9 -10 months to age and mature.
Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen
3 cups – whole milk
1 cup – heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon – sea salt
3 tablespoons – freshly squeezed lemon juice
1) Pour the milk, cream and salt into a saucepan. Attach a candy or deep-fry thermometer. Heat the milk to 190°F, stirring it occasionally to keep it from sticking on the bottom.
2) Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice, then stir it gently once or twice. Let the pot sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.
3) Line a colander with a few layers of cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl (to catch the whey). Pour the curds and whey into the colander and let the curds strain for at least an hour. At an hour, you’ll have a tender, spreadable ricotta. Store the ricotta in a airtight container.
Makes about 1 generous cup.
Note: Don’t discard the whey. It’s full of protein so use it up in soups, smoothies or replace the water in making any dough. I used my whey in making the galette pastry dough.