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Home Cooking 4

Troubleshooting Homemade Ricotta

foodandscience | Apr 8, 201403:08 PM

The other day I was making the ultimate lasagna bolognese. Bolognese simmered for 6 hours, homemade pasta, besciamella etc. The only thing I didn't make by hand was the mozzarella. I also made my own fresh ricotta based on this:
First of all, you need a ton of milk to get not much ricotta. I was microwaving about 3 cups of milk at a time until it got to the 165-185 degree range with my instant read thermometer (My Thermapen changed my life). At that point you are supposed to stir a bit. It never became real curds enough so I could scoop out with a slotted spoon to put in the paper towel lined strainer. I did the best I could but I'm sure I lost a lot of the curd when trying to strain it.
Second round I did the exact same way but larger clumps came together (sort of like cottage cheese) so scooping them out was a lot easier and I got a lot more final product.
Third round turned out exactly like the first. Any idea what could be going wrong? After 9 cups or so milk I ended up with about 1.5 cups of ricotta. It was a fun experiment but unless I can get a better outcome, I'll be buying ricotta from here on out.

Sidenote: Homemade Ricotta was delicious, esp with some sea salt. Husband thought I was quite strange. I think he said "You're making cheese.... at home??". I'm always up for a new challenge. Any thoughts appreciated.

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