Lemon Cheese

Storage: Refrigerator
Yield: 2 cups (approximately) 
    
Light and fluffy, lemon cheese is an ideal alternative for store bought ricotta – mix with spices and salt before serving warm, or press into a ricotta basket and refrigerate to firm into a ricotta-textured cheese. 
     
Ingredients: 
8 cups fresh full cream milk (not UHT) 
2 tablespoons (40ml) lemon juice (or lime juice) 
1 teaspoon (5ml) cheese salt (optional) 
Spices (for seasoning, if using)
    
Warm milk. 
Heat milk in a saucepan (over direct heat) until the milk starts to foam (do not boil). 
Remove milk from heat.
    
Add cheese ingredients. 
Stir in lemon juice. You should clearly see the curds splitting from the clear/milky whey immediately – if not, add a little extra lemon juice.
    
Rest mixture to develop curd.
Rest mixture for 15 minutes.
    
Collect curd, strain through cloth and discard liquid (whey).
Collect curd using a slotted spoon, being careful as the curd will be very soft! Place curd into a cloth-lined colander. Salt the mixture, adding spices for extra flavour if desired. Tie cloth together and suspend for 10-15 minutes to remove excess whey.
    
Serve fresh lemon cheese – or refrigerate (cools into a ricotta textured cheese), or press using a weighted object (i.e. a milk carton) to make paneer cheese. Lemon cheese can be served plain, salted, sweet or savoury – try topping with maple syrup and pistachios, or add garlic and black pepper into the mixture whilst straining. Lemon cheese can often be used as a ricotta alternative when cooking.
   

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