Beer and cheese matching is becoming a bit of a trend these days. So, if you make your own beer, how about making your own cheese? It’s actually very easy! When I found out how easy, I realised the supermarkets have been ripping us off!
Ricotta is just whole milk and lemon juice. It takes half an hour to make and tastes much better than anything you can buy in the supermarket. For even better tasting cheese, use better quality milk. Although home brand full cream milk tastes just great! Never buy second rate, double priced ricotta again. Great in lasagne, on pizza, in cheesecake or just by itself warm on bread. Mmm.
Ingredients to make almost 1kg of ricotta
- 3.5 litres of full cream milk
- 1 teaspoon of citric acid dissolved in ¼ cup of water or 6 teaspoons of lemon juice
- Clean cheese Cloth/muslin/tightly woven dishcloth
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Add the citric acid/lemon juice and salt into the milk and stir thoroughly
- In a large stock pot, directly heat the milk to 85-90°C. (not quite boiling). Stir often to prevent scorching
- Wait until the curds and whey separate – you will know when it happens because the white cheese will separate from the yellow-ish whey. If it doesn’t quite separate, add some more lemon juice
- Turn off the heat and let it set, undisturbed, for 10 minutes
- Line a colander with cheese cloth/muslin/tightly woven dishcloth and place it in the sink. Carefully ladle the curds into the colander to drain
- Once the liquid has gone through, tie the corners of the cloth into a knot and hang the bag to drain for 20-30 minutes or until the cheese has reached the desired consistency. I usually tie the bag onto the sink tap and let drain there
- The cheese is ready to eat immediately. For a creamier consistency, add cream at the end and mix thoroughly
- Store in a covered container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks (it probably won’t last that long)!
Note: You can also save the whey and use it in pizza dough or to make Sauerkraut