I've started looking into making homemade cheese. We originally eliminated cheese and other dairy products from our diet due to my youngest's food allergy. Now, she is older and I am again craving the dairy.
We are also looking into trimming our food budget. We currently spend at least $25 a week on dairy products, excluding milk. I'd like to see if we can decrease that amount.
I started my experimentation with ricotta. It's a soft cheese that doesn't require enzymes, thus eliminating a need to purchase additional ingredients.
I doubled the Smitten Kitchen's recipe and this was the result:
IT WAS AMAZING!! More after the jump ...
In a medium saucepan, I mixed:
7 cups of whole milk (pasteurized, not ultra-pasteurized)
1 cups of cream
1 teaspoon of salt
(Keep in mind, those quantities are doubled from the original recipe.)
I brought the milk slowly to 190F, keeping a watch with my thermometer.
I removed the pan from heat, added 7 tablespoons of lemon juice and let it sit for 5 minutes
After 5 minutes, I poured the pan over cheese-lined colander. The colander sat on a large soup pot, to catch the whey. The mixture sat on cheesecloth for two hours.
I added chopped leek (from the garden) and let it sit in the fridge.
This cheese was flavorful. As the cheese sat for a few days, it took on a great flavor from the leeks. The cheese was slightly runnier than I would have liked, but it tasted great on dipped homemade bread. I really wish my elder daughter would have dug in. This would be an easy, nutritious snack. But, she was put off by the taste.
Still, I consider it a success! I may make it again and have her give it another try. Now, on to homemade mozzarella.