A couple of weeks ago I was blessed, once again, to make cheese with one of CFH’s most fabulous CSRs, Jerrilynn. Jerri and I have been friends for a long time and really enjoy making cheese together. We got our hands on a CFH Italian cheese kit and decided to try one of my husband’s favorite cheeses, Ricotta Salata.

Ricotta Salata (ricotta with salt) is made like regular ricotta, except that it’s made with whole milk instead of whey, is pressed, and can be aged. (Not that it ever lasts that long in my house.) It is LIFE CHANGING in lasagna, but is delicious by itself or with crackers. It’s also great for breakfast…I love to mix Ricotta Salata and eggs with a little almond flour and vanilla, and fry them up for high protein, low carb pancakes. Ricotta Salata is one of the best cheeses to give as a gift, too. Wrap it in parchment and tie it with a ribbon, and your friends and family will be in awe of this sweet, attractive little cheese, as well as your amazing skills.

Ready? Here we go! Jerri and I started with a gallon of whole, raw cows milk and a pint of heavy raw cream. We poured both into my ancient cheese pot and added citric acid, dissolved in a little water.

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We heated the milk to 185°F, which is when we started to see a clear separation of curds and whey. Stir regularly, and if you are using an electric stove, keep the heat on low. Better to heat more slowly and take a little longer than to burn your curds.

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When we could see milky white curds and yellowish whey, we turned off the heat and waited a few minutes for the curds to sink to the bottom of the pot. We then drained the curds into a cheesecloth-lined colander, saving the whey for traditional ricotta.

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I love our basic cheese mold for Ricotta Salata. It’s the perfect size, is dishwasher safe, and is very versatile. I’ve had it for years and use it regularly, and it’s held up beautifully.

Once the curds had mostly drained, we salted them well, stirred them, and spooned them into the basic mold, lined with cheesecloth. My favorite way to press cheeses and butter using this mold is with a quart sized mason jar full of water, so that’s exactly what Jerri and I did here.

We pressed the cheese for about twenty minutes and then removed it, rewrapped it in a freshly rinsed piece of cheesecloth, and pressed it again for another twenty minutes. The recipe in the kit recommends pressing overnight, and you can certainly do that. We were eager to eat our cheese, however, so we took a little shortcut.

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You guys, this cheese is so incredibly delicious, and so EASY! I’m making a ton of it for Christmas gifts…if you’re on my Christmas list, I apologize for the spoilers. You’ll forgive me when you taste your cheese. Everyone else, do yourselves a favor and make this one. Then post in the comments and tell me how much you love it!