This is gonna blow your mind. Brace yourself.
I made cheese today. Not a camembert or gouda or anything. But still – I KNOW RIGHT?
I made ricotta. Real homemade ricotta. And it’s not like I bought a chemists set or anything. I spent 11 kr on cheesecloth, while the rest of the ingredients are just basic foodstuffs.
Milk – cream – salt – lemon
I found heaps of recipes which all had different amounts and different directions. I’ve found that around a quarter amount of cream to the amount of milk does fine. So one liter of milk to 250 milliliters of cream.
Almost all the recipes used whole milk, that is 2% milk. I never buy it, so I used the regular 0,5% and it worked perfectly. The cream has to be real though – no cheating and getting the one for ‘cooking’ (which in Scandinavia translates to light). As if there’s any reason to use light products anyways.
Start by putting your milk, cream and one to two teaspoons of salt in a pot. Heat it up until it starts to bubble, stirring constantly. These are dairy, and we all know how gross burnt dairy product is.
When the milk and cream gets to a ‘rolling boil’, as one of the recipes I read illustrated nicely, add the lemon. I squeezed out half a lemon for this amount of milk. It worked, so I guess that’s the right amount. It’s kind of like chemistry, some things activate others, and it’s all about finding the balance.
After adding the lemon juice, lower the heat so the mixture just slightly simmers. This is the magic: small lumps are appearing and these are the curds. Cheese curds, I KNOW ISN’T THAT COOL! It looks like a sauce that has split or something gone wrong. After about five minutes, turn off the heat and leave it for another five minutes.
Put two layers of cheesecloth in a strainer over a bowl and pour in the mixture.
Isn’t that pretty? It reminds me of an italian country kitchen. Harhar.
How long you leave it out is also something to figure out. Some recipes say somewhere between five and fifteen minutes, some talk about hours. The longer you leave it out, the more liquid drains out, and it gets firmer.
I let it drain for about 45 minutes, and it gives a nice, spreadable cheese. For cakes I’m considering leaving it out longer, letting it get really firm. I’m gonna use it as cream cheese, in cheese cake and in frosting – and I can’t wait. It’s a lot cheaper, and it just too cool to be able to say you even made the cheese yourself!
Look at that. I’m so proud. I’m so exited that it’s so easy to make such a delicious, basic, multi-purpose product yourself at home. This means it can be 100% organic, it doesn’t have weird additives. It’s effing homemade. My favorite.
Homemade bread with homemade ricotta and a sprinkle of salt. Napkins courtesy of carpeitem 🙂