Monday, May 27, 2013

Ricotta: How to make from fresh milk

Tomorrow I am going to make a calcium rich cake (lemon, almond and ricotta) for the 'Stepping On' class that I help with  - it's our final session.  These are older folk that have had a fall or feel afraid that they might fall.  This is a serious scenario that affects the older age group,  their quality of life and ability to stay independent - something we all cherish.

Making your own ricotta, with a dairy farm of Jersey cows not far from me, makes common sense - and it is really simple (how that bloke gets up at 4am every morning to milk them is beyond me!).  However - thank you Mr. dairy farmer - and here we go!

2 litres fresh milk (8 cups)
250 gm plain yoghurt
Juice of one large lemon
Sea salt to taste

1.  Heat the milk in a heavy based saucepan to 90oc. (This is where you need a thermometer - see photo)
2.  Take off the heat and immediately lightly beat in the yoghurt and add the strained lemon juice and salt.  Stir a couple of times.
3.  The whey will separate from the curds.  Leave for about 15-20 minutes.
4.  Strain through fine large sieve lined with cheesecloth.  Drain for about 2 hours then refrigerate.
5. 2 litres of milk makes approximately 450 grams of ricotta (depending on the fat content of your milk)

Ricotta is a useful addition to lots of recipes.  Try these. (Simply click on the subject headings below and it will take you the appropriate page)
Berry and Ricotta Hotcakes 
Baked Mushrooms Stuffed with Ricotta
Strawberries and Ricotta on Toast for Breakfast (my favourite)
Baked Ricotta - delicious with home baked bread

And here's some other ways with milk:
Creme Caramel
Controlling powdery mildew on your veggies with milk!
And why not have a go at making your own yoghurt - it's easy

While we're at it - let's enjoy these beautiful camellias that I picked from daughter's garden - species unknown?







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