Monday, October 14th, 2013
Cacioricotta cheese is a simple cheese that is traditional in Puglia, that can be eaten fresh or aged for better keeping and a stronger flavour. I've scaled the quantities back to make enough for one cheese, but sometimes cheese making is easier in larger quantities, so scale it back up and make one for now and one for later. You can use cow, goat or sheep's milk, raw or pasteurised but not UHT.
Bring 2 litres of fresh milk to the boil, then leave to cool to blood temperature. Add a tablespoon of liquid rennet, stir thoroughly and leave for about an hour.
When solids have formed, stir up and heat it again until the pan is hot to touch (probably about 45 - 50 degrees C). Spoon the solids out, and place into the cheese molds. Save the whey for bread-making, or feed to the pigs ;)
Place the molds onto an upturned cup or something so that they can drain freely. When it is solid enough, tip the cheese from one mold to another (or into your hand and back into the mold the opposite way). For a denser cheese (especially if you're wanting to age it a little) put a weight onto the cheese to drain it further.
Chill and eat the cheese fresh, or salt top and bottom and sides and put in a fly-free zone with some ventilation and dry out for a couple of days for a nice eating cheese, or for a week or so for a grating cheese. If you're drying it, turn it over every day. Best also to have on a cheese mat (or sushi-rolling mat) so that it can drain easily.