Next on my Precise Kitchen Elf's agenda: homemade ricotta. I think the cheese kit I got for him from Standing Stone Farms is a hit...for all of us! He loves to measure and read directions. Wow. Where did he get that skill?! Certainly not from me.
One of the most important things the boys have learned in our kitchen adventures: ingredients matter. So, Riley sought out some raw cow's milk from Schoch Dairy in Salinas. And he got to work.
1/2 gallon whole milk
1/4 C organic heavy cream
1/2 t citric acid
1 t fleur de sel
In a large pot, combine the milk, cream, and citric acid and half the salt. Stir in an up and down motion to combine.
Slowly heat the milk mixture to 184 degrees F. You will start to see the curds rising and resting on the top. Occastionally scrape the bottom and side of the pot with a silicone spatula to prevent the milk from scorching.
Cover the pot and let the curds rest for 15 minutes off the heat.
Place a cheese cloth in a colander, over a pot, spoon the curds into the cloth and let drain for an hour.
Gently stir in the remaining salt and tie up the cheesecloth. Place the ricotta in the refrigerator to drain overnight.
The ricotta was tangy, salty and had a magnificent texture. Nice job, Riley! You'll see this tonight in some ricotta gnocchi that he made for dinner.