Introduction: Goat Milk Ricotta
I use the recipe form New England Cheese Company (below) but swap out cow milk with goat. The cheese is delicious when warm. 1/2 gallon of milk will yield a pint of cheese.
Ricotta from Whole Milk
Use whole milk .. The fresher the better
Add 2 tsp of citric acid per gallon of liquid (dissolved in 1 cup cool water). Add 1/2 of this Citric Acid solution to the milk (save the rest of the citric acid). Stir briskly for 5-10 seconds.
Add 1 tsp salt
Heat the milk slowly on low to med stirring well to prevent scorching
At 165-170F watch for small flakes forming in the milk and the separation of small curds.
If after a few minutes you do not see the flakes forming, add more of the Citric acid until they form (do this in small 1 Tbsp increments to avoid over acid milk).
Continue heating to 190-195F then turn the heat off. The thermal mass of the whey will hold at this temp for quite some time. The higher temp is used here because of the additional proteins found in whole milk vs whey.
As the curds rise, use a perforated ladle to gently move them from the sides to the center of the pot. These clumps of curd will begin to consolidate floating on top of the liquid.
Let the curds rest for 10-15 min.
*** This is very important because this is the point where the final Ricotta quality is assured
Ladle the curds gently into draining forms (No cheese cloth should be needed if you were patient in the previous step). Let the curds drain for 15 min up to several hours.
For a fresh light ricotta, drain it for a short while (until the free whey drainage slows) and chill to below 50F. For a rich, dense and buttery texture allow it to drain for an extended period of time (several hours). before chilling overnight
Move to a refrigerator or cold room. Consume within 10 days