Yum, cheese and cheesy pancakes!

Now that my husband and I are back on the farm, I’m trying out some cheese recipes with milk from our own cows, which is exciting (and tasty!). Shannon requested I post the recipe for ricotta, so I’m instituting my first Food Friday. And, for bonus fun-sies, I’ll also post the recipe we used for ricotta pancakes after the cheesemaking. Yum!

Both recipes come from the book Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll. We get our cultures and other ingredients from Ricki’s New England Cheesemaking website.

Whole Milk Ricotta

  1. Dissolve one teaspoon citric acid in ¼ cup cool distilled water. Add to one gallon whole milk and mix thoroughly. (1 teaspoon cheese salt optional to add)
  2. Heat the milk in a large pot to 185 to 195°F and stir often to prevent scorching. Don’t boil.
  3. When the curds and whey separate, turn off the heat. (It takes me about half an hour to get the milk to 195 degrees. It’s hot. Be careful.) Let the curds and whey set for ten minutes.
  4. Ladle the curds into a colander lined with butter muslin (like cheesecloth, but with smaller openings). Tie the corners together and hang the bag to dry for about half an hour.
  5. Eat! You can add one or two tablespoons of cream if you’d like a creamier consistency.
  6. Clean up. This isn’t a technical step in the recipe, but it’s my least favorite part 😦

The ricotta should be good for one or two weeks stored in a covered container in the fridge. I doubled the amount of cheese salt in it and it still wasn’t quite enough for my taste, so add more at the start of draining if you have a taste for the NaCl. (Is it still NaCl for cheese salt versus table salt?)

So once you have this bowl of awesomeness, can you use it for anything besides lasagna or cheesecake? (Not that those are bad things, I just needed something quicker for supper) Ta da:

Ricotta Pancakes

  1. Sift together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tbsp sugar, 2 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda, and ½ tsp salt.
  2. In medium bowl, beat 2 egg whites until stiff. (I recommend using an electric mixer; I tried a whisk and my arm almost fell off. Yes, I’m out of shape.)
  3. In large bowl, beat 2 egg yolks, 2 cups milk, and ½ cup (4 oz) ricotta until smooth. Add the flour mixture and mix gently.
  4. Stir spoonful of egg whites into batter to lighten it, then fold in remaining whites with spatula.
  5. Pour ¼ – 1/3 cup batter per pancake onto hot griddle and cook until golden. (Don’t forget to flip when bubbles form on surface.)
  6. Enjoy!
  7. Make husband clean up.

Anyone have any other good uses for ricotta?