MANILA – Here is a fresh, simple cheese that you can easily make at home.
California Milk Advisory Board consultant Mark Todd, also known as “the Cheese Dude,” recently taught members of the media how to make ricotta cheese using only four ingredients: whole cow’s milk, heavy cream, citric acid powder, and kosher salt.
“This is direct-set cheese. You have milk, heat it, an acid is added, and they immediately separate,” Todd explained, noting that other cheeses take more time and effort to prepare.
“When we make cheese, the process is trying to get the fat and protein to float to the top, and the sugar and water to go to the bottom… You take that off and drain the liquid, what is left is cheese,” he added.
Here’s how it’s done:
WHOLE MILK RICOTTA (makes 1 pound)
- stock pot
- kitchen thermometer
- rubber spatula
- strainer or colander
- butter muslin
- 1 gallon pasteurized whole cow’s milk (at room temperature)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon citric acid powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Combine the milk, cream, citric acid, and salt in a bowl using a whisk.
2. Place the mixture in the stock pot and slowly heat it to 85 to 90 degrees Celsius. This will take around 15 to 20 minutes. Stir with a rubber spatula to prevent scorching.
3. As the milk reaches around 65 degrees Celsius, curds will start to form. As it gets closer to the specified temperature, the curds and the whey will start getting separated.
4. Turn off the heat and gently run the spatula around the curds. Then, let the curds set for 10 minutes.
5. Line a colander or strainer with a water-dampened butter muslin. Carefully ladle the curds from the pot into the colander.
6. Drain for five minutes, then gently toss the curds with one teaspoon kosher salt.
7. Drain the curds for another five to 10 minutes, or until the desired consistency has been reached.
8. Transfer the cheese to a lidded container, and store refrigerated for up to one week.