DIY Cheese

This past week has been spent learning all kinds of useful homesteading skills from an amazing woman who can do it all. In addition to planting, tending, and harvesting from the garden, Robyn has taught us about dairying, pasture management, farm maintenance, some building, and lots of kitchen magic. We’ve made yogurt, cheese, pasta, blood pudding, poached eggs. She’s shown me how to make a variety of soft cheeses with the milk we bring in each morning: feta, ricotta, yogurt cheese.

Here is a recipe for one of my favorites, apricot and walnut ricotta. Robyn’s recipe comes from a newspaper cut-out from long ago.

2.15 liters whole milk
150 ml cream
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 tbsp sea salt
1/4 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
1/4 cup walnut pieces, finely chopped

Pour milk and cream into pan and bring temperature up to 90 degrees Celsius, stirring to keep milk from scalding. Remove from heat and slowly stir the vinegar in to separate curds and whey. Have a colander lined with muslin cloth ready in the sink to pour the mixture into. When most of the liquid has passed through, add the salt, apricots, and walnuts. Bring the muslin together and twist to fully encase the cheese, applying a little pressure to squeeze out excess liquid. Put securely in a plastic container with holes drilled at the bottom for drainage. Place something heavy on top to help drain liquid out. Place container on rack with catchment dish underneath and place in fridge or cool area overnight. To serve, turn the cheese out onto a platter, drizzle with EVOO, and enjoy.

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