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You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to make your own cheese at home!

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You may have heard the nursery rhyme that begins with, “Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet, eating her curds and whey.” But what are curds and whey? They’re two products of cheese making!

Cheese is made by adding an acid (such as vinegar or lemon juice) or rennet (an enzyme that can come from animals or plants) to milk. Adding acid causes the proteins in the milk to link together and clump tightly. This process is called coagulation. The solid lumps held together by the milk’s proteins are the curds, and the leftover liquid is the whey. Cheeses made this way include ricotta, cream cheese, goat cheese, queso blanco, and paneer. Maybe Little Miss Muffet was eating ricotta on her tuffet?

How to use ricotta cheese

You can use creamy ricotta cheese in both sweet and savory dishes. One of our favorite options? Spreading it on warm, crunchy toast. For a sweet version, try topping your toast with 1 to 2 tablespoons of ricotta, your favorite berries, and a drizzle of honey.

Or go savory: Top ricotta toast with halved cherry tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Or swap in jarred artichoke hearts and chopped chives. Ricotta is also delicious dolloped on top of pasta or pizza. Yum!

DIY Ricotta Cheese

 

Makes 2 cups

8 cups pasteurized (not UHT or ultra-pasteurized) whole milk

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup distilled white vinegar, plus extra as needed

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