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Monday, 17 October 2016

No Thermometer Required Ricotta

Strictly speaking this is a recipe for Paneer (a cheese used in Indian cuisine), but it is totally interchangeable with Ricotta in any recipe.  Making your own cheese is so exciting! You're going to love this easy recipe - it's quick, using ingredients you probably already have in your pantry, and best of all - no thermometer required!

Fresh milk - NOT longlife! Don't try it!
Lemon juice (fresh or bottled) about 1-2 tablespoons.
(Vinegar works just as well, if you don't have lemon - you need less vinegar than lemon)

Method -
Pour 1 liter of milk into a pot.
Place on stove and just bring to the boil.
It doesn't actually need to boil - just start foaming up.
Once, I forgot it on the stove and it nearly boiled over - the cheese still came out perfectly, so you don't need to stress too much about exact temperatures!

Add the lemon juice- about a tablespoon at a time. I actually don't measure; just squirt it out and give a quick stir.
After each addition give a quick stir to see if curds are forming.
The curds (thick white bits), should separate from the whey (pale, yellow-green liquid) quickly.
Add more lemon/vinegar until you see the separation start - as in the picture.
Remove pot from heat!
Leave to separate, undisturbed for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, pour the mixture thru a sieve lined with
cheesecloth (I use those cheap white ones you buy in Chinatown).
Make sure to save the whey!  This can be used for the liquid on your home-made bread. (recipe still coming)
It takes a few minutes to drain.
If you get impatient, you can speed up the process by folding up the corners of the clothe and squeezing it out a bit.

Here is my cheese after a I squeezed it out.
It makes about 1 small tub of cheese.
Now you can use it as is in cheesecake recipes or crumbled in your garden salad.

We like to add some herbs and garlic and use as a spread for our Wednesday biscuits and cheese evenings.

Together with  radish leaf pesto(recipe still coming) - delicious!

The recipe is so quick and easy, you can have Ricotta on hand whenever you need it.  It tastes better than store bought, and you know it's super fresh and healthy for your family!

Enjoy, and please let me know how it turns out for you.