Italian Cheesemaking Kit Recipes

Here is your go-to guide for our Italian Fresh Cheesemaking Class.  Each step by step recipe below includes the additional equipment and ingredients needed, including what you have in your Italian Cheesemaking Kit

Ricotta

Equipment

  • Stock Pot
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Cheese Basket
  • Cheese Cloth

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Gallon (2 L) Whole Milk
  • 1/4 Cup (59 mL) Heavy Cream (Optional)
  • 1 Teaspoon Citric Acid
  • 1/2-1 Teaspoon Cheese Salt

1. In a pot, over medium-low heat, add milk and cream (if using) and bring to  185° – 195° F (85° – 90° C), occasionally stirring with rubber spatula and scraping the sides and bottom of the pot.

2. Once at temperature, remove from heat, add 1 teaspoon (7 ml) citric acid to milk. Mix thoroughly and let sit while milk separates into curds and whey, about 10 - 15 minutes.

3. Line a cheese basket with cheese cloth, and place over a large bowl.

4. Pour curds and whey into lined cheese basket. Discard whey (or reserve it for another project).

5. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) cheese salt over draining curds and gently stir to incorporate.

6. Drain 15 - 20 minutes or until desired firmness is reached.

7. Transfer finished ricotta to a bowl. Enjoy right away or store in the fridge.

Mascarpone

Equipment

  • Sauce Pan
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Slotted Spoon
  • Cheese Basket
  • Cheese Cloth

Ingredients

  • 1 Pint (473 mL) Heavy Cream
  • Citric Acid

1. Add cream to sauce pan. Heat slowly until cream reaches 180° F (82° C).

2. Occasionally stir with rubber spatula while heating, scraping the sides and bottom of the pan over the course of 30 - 40 minutes.

3. Meanwhile add 1/2 teaspoon (118 ml) citric acid to 1/4 cup (59 mL) water in a cup. Mix to dissolve. Set aside.

4. Once milk reaches temperature, add citric acid solution. Reduce heat and maintain temperature for 2 minutes.

5. Remove from heat, and let sit for 30 minutes.

6. Line a cheese basket with cheese cloth and place over a large bowl.

7. Pour cream into lined cheese basket, and move to the refrigerator for 6 - 8 hours.

Note: The cream can be thin within the first hour of chilling. If needed, pour the separated liquid from the bowl back into the lined basket.

8. Transfer your finished mascarpone to a bowl. Enjoy right away or store in the fridge.

Mozzarella

Equipment

  • Stock Pot
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Kitchen Thermometer
  • Slotted Spoon
  • Knife
  • Cheese Basket
  • Cheese Cloth

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Gallon (2 L) Whole Milk (Not Ultra-Pasteurized)
  • 1 Cup (237 ml) Non-Chlorinated Water (Bottled or tap water left out overnight)
  • 3/4 teaspoon Citric Acid
  • 1/4 Rennet Tablet
  • 1 Teaspoon Cheese Salt

1. Add 3/4 teaspoon citric acid to 1/4 cup non-chlorinated water in a cup. Mix and set aside.

2. Add 1/4 tablet rennet to 1/4 cup of non-chlorinated water in a separate cup. Mix to dissolve, and set aside.

3. Add milk to stock pot. Add citric acid solution to milk, and stir thoroughly.

4. Heat slowly on medium-low until milk reaches 90° F (32° C). Occasionally stir while heating, scraping the sides and bottoms of the pot to prevent scorching.

5. Upon reaching temperature, add rennet solution to milk and stir gently stir for 20 seconds. Remove from heat, and let sit for 5 - 10 minutes while milk begins to firm.

6. Check on your milk. It should be thick and no longer runny. Test the curd formation by running a knife through the milk. If you observe a clean break (meaning the you noticed a defined line while curling through the curds), you're ready to move on. Otherwise, just let your milk sit an extra couple minutes.

7. Cut your curds into 1" (2.5 cm) cubes, first vertically (starting from your body going away from you) and then horizontally (from left to right). Then cut again horizontally, holding your knife at a 45° angle.

8. Return your curds to the stove, and heat on medium-low to 105°. Upon reaching temperature, remove from heat and gently stir for 5 minutes.

9. Line cheese basket with cheese cloth and place over a large bowl. Pour curds and whey into lined cheese basket. and let set for 10 minutes. Gently press down on the curds to remove excess whey. Reserve whey.

10. In order to stretch the curds into mozzarella, you must heat them up. You can do this 2 ways.


Option 1: On a Stove.

While your curds are draining, assemble a double boiler or place a smaller pot into a larger one. Create a water bath (or use the whey from the previous steps).

Form curds into a ball and lower into heated water until internal temperature reaches 135° F (57° C).

Once temperature is reached in around 2 - 3 minutes, use slotted spoon to remove from water bath.

Option 2: In a Microwave.

In a bowl, heat curds on high for 1 minute. Gently stir with a spoon and drain off any whey.

Check temperature, and repeat previous step until internal temperature of the curds reaches 135° F (57° C). 

Squeeze balls of curds to remove excess whey.


11. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon (5 ml) cheese salt atop curds. Fold, knead and stretch to incorporate.

12. The more you work the ball of curds, the firmer your mozzarella will become. Form it into a ball (or whatever shape you like).

13. Quickly dunk finished mozzarella in ice water to help it maintain its shape.

14. Enjoy right away, or store in cool whey with 1/2 teaspoon sat in the fridge for up to a week.

Burrata

Equipment

  • Stock Pot
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Kitchen Thermometer
  • Slotted Spoon
  • Knife

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup (237 mL) Fresh Ricotta, Mascarpone OR Scraps of Mozzarella Curd
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream, only needed if using Mozzarella Curd for filling

1. Follow the instructions to make a batch of fresh ricotta or mascarpone if using those for the filling, and set aside.

2. Follow the mozzarella instructions up to and including step 14 (folding and kneading).

3. Divide the mozzarella into four equal pieces. Place in a bowl.

4. Meanwhile, heat 1 quart (1 L) water to 180° F (82° C).

5. Gently pour hot water over mozzarella until covered. Let sit for 5 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath.

7. Pull each piece out of the water bath one by one and stretch into 4" (10 cm) circles.

8. Place 2 spoons of ricotta or mascarpone in the center of the first circle.

9. Gather the sides of the circle to pinch at the top, locking in the filling.

10. Place the filled ball in ice bath for 2 minutes until sides firm.

11. Repeat for each circle, filling, pinching, and chilling.

12. Enjoy right away or store in the fridge for a couple days by placing in a container and covering with whey or water.

 

Jessica Sennett is the founder and inventor of Cheese Grotto. Her whole life is cheese - seriously.

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