Whole Goat’s Milk Ricotta Cheese
This versatile cheese can also easily be made with cow’s milk, but you can’t beat the creamy flavor of fresh, whole goat’s milk ricotta. This is an ideal recipe to have on hand if you have a dairy animal and are inundated with milk. You can make a big batch, parcel it out into 1- or 2-cup portions in sandwich bags, and store them in the freezer. The thawed cheese will cook just as well as fresh cheese.
Yields about 2-1/4 pounds of cheese, plus 3/4 gallon of whey.
- 1 gallon fresh goat’s milk
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Pour the milk into a stainless steel stockpot and begin heating it on the stove over medium-low to medium heat, stirring occasionally with a long-handled stainless steel or wooden spoon. It should gradually reach 206 degrees Fahrenheit, which could take more than an hour if you begin with cold milk.
- While the milk is heating, set the colander in the sink and drape the cheesecloth over it. If you want to catch the whey to use in other projects, place a big bowl under the colander.
- Clip a thermometer to the inside of the pot to monitor the milk’s temperature as it heats. Be patient; don’t crank up the heat to hurry things along. Stir often, and wait for the right temperature.
- a-b. When the milk has reached 206 degrees and looks frothy on top, briskly stir in the vinegar. Soon, small curds that look like little clumps of cheese will form. This is coagulation.
- a-b. Dump the contents of the stockpot into the cheesecloth-lined colander. Gather the corners of the cheesecloth together and gently pull it up to let the whey drain from the curds. Drain for about 60 seconds, or until the majority of the whey is separated, then dump the curds into a clean bowl. Some whey should remain in the curds; this is essential for a nice, moist ricotta.
- a-c. Add the butter and baking soda, and stir until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy. Use immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Made with fresh homemade ricotta, these rich and delicious pancakes are a hit at my family’s breakfast table. Yields about 12 pancakes.
- 1 cup flour
- 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, combine ricotta, milk, egg yolks, and vanilla. Mix into dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into pancake batter.
- Cook in batches on a hot, greased griddle. Enjoy warm with butter and syrup.
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Maggie Bullington lives in rural Alabama with her family of homesteaders. She gardens, assists with several home businesses, and tries new recipes with farm-fresh ingredients. Follow Maggie at www.TinyRanch.com.