Friday, February 20, 2009

Homemade Cottage Cheese

After being without power for a couple of days, I had an abundance of milk that needed to be used quickly... so I made a few quarts of yogurt and then did a little research. Homemade ricotta and cottage cheeses are super easy to make! The finished cottage cheese product actually reminds me of ricotta cheese in texture, but is infinitely better than either of those storebought products. It's sweeter than storebought, creamier than storebought, and doesn't come with any weird additives. This is so good that I think it would make an excellent warm weather dessert with fresh berries!

Recipe from Alton Brown (I halved it below)

  • 1/2 gallon milk
  • 3/8 c. vinegar
  • 1/2 t. salt (slightly more if you use kosher salt)
  • 1/4 c. heavy cream or half-n-half
  1. Heat the milk in a heavy-bottomed pot until it reaches 120 degrees (about 5 minutes over medium heat).
  2. Stir in vinegar; remove from heat and stir for a minute or two until the curds and whey separate (this is so cool! The whey is a yellowish, greenish liquid; the curds are the solids that will come together). Let sit, covered, for 30 minutes.
  3. Pour into a dishtowel (or cheesecloth) lined colander.* Drain for 5 minutes. Gather up the towel, and rinse the cheese under cold water for 3-5 minutes, squeezing and moving it the whole time.
  4. Dump cheese into container, add salt, and stir/cut into smaller pieces. It will be slightly dry at this point and look more like ricotta cheese than cottage cheese. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. When ready to eat, add the cream and stir. Mmm....
*If you make bread, you can save the whey and use it in your bread making in place of water! In this case, make sure you drain the cheese over a large bowl. You'll get about 7 cups.

Makes 1 1/2 cups or so.


Anonymous said...

Interesting...did you use whole milk or a lower fat version?

Thanks for posting.


Betsy said...

I used whole milk because that's what I had on hand; however, most of the recipes I looked at called for skim milk. I don't know what the taste difference would be....

Diane said...

I love Alton Brown's recipes so I was glad to see a halved version. I did not actually see this episode, so I wonder what his cheese actually looked like. What I seem to have is ricotta... Much smoother and creamier than cottage cheese. I think whole milk is the difference between cottage and this "ricotta" (I guess its the shortcut version from what I am reading on other pages). I can't find skim milk in Japan.

Or maybe I just messed up somehow. Anyway, nice gentle flavor.

Betsy said...

My finished product was sort of in between storebought cottage cheese and storebought ricotta. But it was wonderful and definitely better than either. I'm not a huge fan of ricotta all by itself, but I really like cottage cheese. I could have eaten this stuff all by itself by the big bowlful!