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Thanks! ....and a question re: homemade ricotta   Go to last post Go to last unread
#1 Posted : Sunday, March 19, 2023 8:27:35 AM(UTC)

Big thanks to Ellwell for responding to my query re: grapefruit zest for the grapefruit white chocolate cake recipe from Snacking Cakes.  It's great knowing that are other cooks out there who can help!

AND I do have another question for members who have made their own books (and various blogs) have several versions using different dairy products (or combos), different acids, ratios of acid:dairy AND instructions on when to add the acid.  Does someone have a suggestion for the BEST method....I would hate to waste a lot of milk on a method that doesn't work.  My books/blogs include the following iterations:

* whole milk , whole milk + heavy cream , and a couple that use buttermilk as the acid: buttermilk + whole milk  AND  whole milk + heavy cream + buttermilk

* lemon juice, white vinegar , lemon juice + white vinegar, white wine vinegar , powdered citric acid

* bring dairy to... "a rolling boil" , "185 F" , "190 F" , "200 F" , "heat whole milk + buttermilk and stir til hot, stop stirring & you will see curds rising" and one lastly, Melissa Clark's that uses the instant pot method

These are just a few samples......can anyone comment on a set of ingredients / simple method they KNOW works and if there is a downside to scaling the recipe (ie to 1 cup yield)?

#2 Posted : Sunday, March 19, 2023 9:43:19 AM(UTC)
Hi aveythingcooks,
Here is the one I learned while taking a science of cooking course.
It works well for me. The yield from 1 L of milk is not that high, about 1-2 cups I think.

I use an instant read thermometer for measuring temp

1 L whole milk
2 Tbsp White vinegar
1/2 Tsp Salt

Prepare a bowl with ice water for later.

Add cheesecloth to sieve and place over a bowl.

Heat milk while stirring to 198 degrees F with salt added in. Remove from heat, stop stirring and add vinegar. Place in ice bath to cool down.

When temperature reaches 97 F degrees, strain through the cheesecloth and leave to drain over bowl.

You may have to move the curds gently to help it strain. Place in the fridge to cool for about 20 minutes.
#3 Posted : Sunday, March 19, 2023 3:42:12 PM(UTC)
I have made ricotta several times. I did not review it but I think the recipe from Smitten Kitchen worked the best. Whole milk, heavy cream and lemon juice. Do NOT use ultra pasteurized dairy. Idk why, but it doesn’t curdle. I did not have success with Melissa Clark’s recipe in Dinner in an Instant. I ended up switching to the stovetop and added lemon juice and vinegar to get it to curdle. And then, what do you do with the whey?? I made flatbreads and yeast breads that used whey.
#4 Posted : Monday, March 20, 2023 3:13:31 PM(UTC)

The dairy is the crucial ingredient. It can be hard to find whole milk that isn't ultra-pasteurized, but it just won't work otherwise.

I've only made ricotta a couple of times, because the regional dairy that used to sell non-ultra-pasteurized whole milk went out of business (more "innovation" by the private equity co. that bought & closed it). But when I did, I used whole milk and lemon juice, and it was delicious. The recipe didn't involve an ice-bath, just natural cool-down; I'm pretty sure it was from the Kitchn site. The recipe noted that you can substitute white vinegar as the curdling agent if you don't want any hint of lemon flavor.

I can't see why scaling up or down, within reason, would be a problem. The milk I used only came in half-gallons, and the yield was surprisingly modest, just under 3 cups. (Enough to stuff a half-dozen or so squash blossoms.) So I'd start with a quart/liter and see if that produces enough for your needs.

Edited to add: I found my EYB Note on the recipe (with the help of what appears to be a new EYB feature: the ability to search one's notes by words in the book title or recipe. Very helpful for those of us with lots of Notes and aging memories)! It was from Kitchn, the temperature was 200F, and the cool-down was expressed as time (10 minutes) rather than temperature. My memory of the yield was rose-tinted: the half-gallon produced just under 2 cups rather than 3.

Since I last used it, the recipe's been updated with ways to use the whey.

#5 Posted : Monday, March 20, 2023 3:37:55 PM(UTC)

Thanks to everyone for your comments and advice.  I just went down a rabbit hole re: the brands of milk I can get... ULTRA pasteurized vs pasteurized.  All milk sold in Ontario must be pasteurized...which I guess is done at a lower temp than the ultra (at least that is what I am understanding).  Of course the whole milk currently sitting in my fridge is clearly marked as UHT so I'll get the other brand this week and give it a shot :) 

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