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Friday, December 31, 2010

Homemade Ricotta

More cheese! I love ricotta and over the past couple of years I've been splurging on 'homemade' ricotta from the two Italian specialty shops here in Davis Sq. It makes such a difference - it's creamier, softer, and just has an overall marshmellowyness that the grocery store brands don't even come close to. The problem is - it's ridiculously expensive...and, it's not quite 'homemade' when it's made in someone else's home!

So, this is Barbara Lynch's recipe - it's incredibly easy, just takes a watchful eye.

**You need a candy thermometer for this - they're about five bucks at the grocery store or hardware store. You also need cheesecloth.

1 gallon of whole milk
3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tb salt

1. Line a footed colander with two layers of cheesecloth and put it in your kitchen sink.

2. In a pot (spaghetti/pasta pot is the right size), combine all three ingredients and clip the thermometer to the pot.

3. Heat over medium-low heat and stir *continuously* until the temperature climbs to 140 degrees. Don't rush this by turning up the heat! It takes about 20 minutes. Not much will happen, just keep stirring!

4. When temp reaches 140, stop stirring and let sit until it reaches 175 degrees. This will take another 10-20 minutes. When temp reaches 175, immediately take off the heat - and don't let it get above 180. At this point, the curds form.

5. Gently scoop off the curds with a large spoon and put in the colander. Let it drain in the sink for about an hour until it's soft and spreadable. The longer you let it sit, the thicker it will be.

Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate. It will keep for up to a week.

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