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When I describe the cheese making process to people, they often ask what happens to the whey once the curd has separated out.

The answer is simple – Ricotta!  Although it’s not my favourite cheese, it’s still very easy to make and has a very fresh, delicate taste and texture.

The process is simple – firstly, leave the whey overnight at room temperature to allow it to acidify further, then heat to 80C.

Heating the whey

Heating the whey

Ricotta

Ricotta

After a few minutes, delicate curd will begin to rise to the surface – simply scoop it out using a sieve and there you have it!

Draining the ricotta

Draining the ricotta

Drained ricotta

Drained ricotta

The longer you keep the whey hot, the more curd will form, although it will get thinner and sparser as time goes on.

Too much ricotta!

Too much ricotta!

Note that this recipe can be adapted to use regular milk (i.e. not whey), by simply squeezing a lemon into the milk during heating, which provides the necessary acidification.

I wouldn’t recommend this for large amounts of milk, as the acidification is likely to be too localised, and not work very well!

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