homemade cheese?

Yesterday the boys and I did a science experiment: making cheese. We added white vinegar to hot milk and watched it curdle. Then strained it in cheesecloth. Although it was a recipe for ricotta, it turned into more of a farmer's cheese. Nate loved it and was very proud of his creation. He couldn't wait for Michael to get home and then ran toward him with a plastic bowl of hard curds. 

Today I tried a few different things like making the milk hotter, adding vinegar at the end and letting it sit before straining. The results were definitely improved but still not as creamy as I'd like so I cheated and mixed in a little sour cream, flavored it and topped with a drizzle of olive oil. It was pretty yummy and made the whole experimenting worth it, especially if you have kids who like cheese and magic potions.  


4 cups milk
1/4 c white vinegar
sour cream

  1. Pour 4 cups of milk into a 4-quart pot and set it over medium heat. Let it warm gradually to 200°F, stirring occasionally and monitoring the temperature with an instant read thermometer. Remove it from heat and slowly add 1/4 cup white vinegar. then let it sit for 10 minutes. You'll see curds start to form. 
  2. Set a strainer over a bowl and line the strainer with cheese cloth. Scoop the big curds out of the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the strainer. Pour the remaining curds and the whey through the strainer. Let the ricotta drain for 10 minutes. Combine drained curds with 1/4 cup sour cream. Season with salt and pepper. Add lemon zest and olive oil. Serve with the following homemade crackers.