There is no better accompaniment to homegrown tomatoes than a fresh cheese! For our first little harvest of tomatoes, we made some homemade Ricotta for an Herbed Ricotta and Tomato Salad. Today, I wanted to share with you my recipe for Fresh Mozzarella!
Mozzarella is a bit tricky, but if you are patient and pay attention to the temperatures, you will be just fine! And if you don’t come out with a perfect ball of cheese, it will still be delicious!
The best part of making your own mozzarella is that you can use the leftover whey to make Ricotta cheese! Then you can use that ricotta cheese to fill some beautiful Chard, Soppresatta, and Ricotta Ravioli in Wine Sauce! We served these two dishes together for a beautiful Italian dinner.
I made this recipe a lot simpler by finishing with the microwave!
The mozzarella can be stored in the fridge in some fresh water for almost a week. Make sure you change the water every day.
To serve, slice up some delicious ripe tomatoes, chop up some fresh basil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with some olive oil. Simple and perfect!
1 gallon (3.8 L) pasteurized whole milk (don’t use ultra-pasteurized)
1/2 cup (120 mL) water
1 1/2 teaspoon citric acid
1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet
6 tablespoons salt
- Stir water and citric acid together.
Pour milk into large Dutch Oven, add citric acid, and stir for 30 seconds.
- Warm to 90°F (32°C), stir frequently.
- Remove from heat. Add rennet and stir 30 seconds.
Cover and leave for 5 minutes until curds form.
Break up into cubes with a dull knife if needed.
- Heat to 105°F (40°C). Stir slowly.
Add salt and leave for another 5 minutes.
- Drain the curds and reserve whey for another use.
- Microwave curds for 30 seconds.
Squeeze out any whey that separated through a fine mesh.
- Knead and work on counter for about 5-10 minutes until the curds are stretched and you can form a smooth ball.
If it gets to cool, microwave for 20 seconds. I usually re-microwave my cheese at 20 seconds 3-4 times throughout the kneading process.
- Form into a ball and store into cool water.
Total cooking time: 30 minutes, makes 1 pound ball