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                              Homemade Ricotta
 
 Recipe By     :
 Serving Size  : 1    Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : Information                      La Cucina Italiana
                 Cheese
 
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
                         see text for instructions
 
 Making cheese in your own kitchen won't require expensive or extensive
 equipment, nor will it demand a great deal of time or expertise. Once
 you've mastered the basic procedure you'll find yourself making it time and
 again. All you'll need--aside from fresh, whole milk and heavy cream,
 depending on the cheese you are making--is a digital thermometer to gauge
 the temperature of the milk, a stainless steel saucepan to heat the milk,
 some rennet or citric acid to turn the milk into curd, a measuring cup, a
 spatula to break up the curd, a slotted spoon to transfer the curd to the
 baskets, some tightly woven butter muslin or cheesecloth to drain off the
 whey, and some perforated baskets to shape the cheese. Stainless steel,
 plastic, or straw baskets are fine, but stainless steel or plastic baskets
 are easier to sterilize between uses. All of these supplies can be
 purchased from a number of good mail-order companies.  Don't expect to save
 money by making cheese at home: the homemade product will cost you roughly
 the same as the storebought. But the difference in flavor will be
 remarkable, and the satisfaction you'll derive from eating it will be far
 superior.
 
 On these pages you'll see how ricotta, creamy caciotta, and firm caciotta
 are made. These are three of the easiest and most delicious cheeses you can
 make at home, and they'll be perfectly safe to eat as long as they're
 prepared according to instructions, refrigerated immediately, and eaten
 within days. We also include two recipes to feature your homemade cheese.
 And now, a few helpful hints before you start making cheese.
 
 RICOTTA
 
 Keep in mind that ricotta is the easiest fresh cheese for beginners: it
 calls for citric acid, not rennet, to coagulate the milk into curds.  Once
 you've made fresh ricotta, you'll be hooked on its sweet, delectably rich
 taste and its creamy texture.
 
 Heat 12 cups (3 quarts) of whole milk in a stainless steel saucepan until
 the milk reaches a temperature of 194, stirring once in a while.  Dissolve
 3 grams (just 1 little over 1/2 teaspoon) of citric acid in the milk;
 continue to stir the milk until curd begins to surface.
 
 Turn off the heat under the saucepan; let the curd set for 45 minutes,
 undisturbed.  Transfer the curd to 2 perforated baskets with a slotted
 spoon, and refrigerate for 12 hours before serving.
 
 Makes 1 1/2 pounds of ricotta.
 
 La Cucina Italiana, April 1999
 
 
 
                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
 
 
 Per serving: 0 Calories; 0g Fat (0% calories from fat); 0g Protein; 0g
 Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 0mg Sodium
 
 NOTES : La Cucina Italiana, April 1999
 
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