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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Rennet Cheese #2's Whey Ricotta #1 (aka RC2WR1)

Why-o-why did I choose a lemonade bottle to store the whey in?! We're the only people in the city sniffing our lemonade. It's like a prank I played on myself, and the eager scrawl of "WHEY!" in Sharpie on the side isn't adding any class to the situation. So I'd better try this whey-ricotta thing.
The Junket rennet came with instructions on how to make whey-ricotta, but it basically entails letting the whey sit in a pot overnight. I've just watched a pot sit for like days, thank-you-very-much, so that doesn't sound very exciting.
As I recently explained to Mom, I just don't agree with the Doctor. I'm going to do it the way I always do it!
Happily, before I proceeded with my usual china-shop care, I revisited the whey-ty page I mentioned earlier, Fias Co Farm. Sounds like our kind of place, right? The post I've linked to explains the science behind this whole process, so please take the time to check it out.
For my purposes, her whey-ricotta recipe was perfect for RC2WR1. Since the recipe doesn't require a set amount of whey, and only suggests the use a small amount of vinegar, this seemed like a great, fun, quick way to use off the whey.
I let it sit out at room temperature (I ended up with about 5½ cups from the cheese...there was probably a total of 8 cups at one point, but what can I say? the rest got awhey from me) while I washed the big pot for the ten-millionth time this week and sterilized it by boiling a small amount of water for five minutes. Why not?
I do have plain vinegar in the house, but I'm thinking it's at least three years old by now (just like Allen! oh dear I think we had it at the old place, so it may be more like Walt's age
...) so I had a lemon (and it's strainer) at the ready.
It took about seven minutes for the whey to reach 200 degrees
...it was admittedly awesome to watch it "cream up." It's a small miracle, like witnessing egg whites whip, but your arm doesn't hurt. I did end up adding about 1 Tb of lemon juice, just because. I think it helped. It strained beautifully, but RC2WR1 is an it-bit at an 1/8 of a cup (at best!).

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