Can You Freeze Ricotta Cheese? Everything You Must to Know
What exactly is Ricotta Cheese?
This wonderful type of cheese is very watery and creamy consistency. It’s a dairy product made up of liquid and very fine curds. It is the type of cheese that is made from the leftover whey of other cheeses. However, a homemade Ricotta can be made from such simple ingredients such as milk and lemon juice. It has a beautiful pearl white color and a tempting slightly sweet taste.
Can you freeze Ricotta Cheese?
The question if a Ricotta cheese can be frozen has been asked many times? The answer is yes! This type of cheese can be frozen but very important is the method of doing so, and if you have the need due to your living circumstances to freeze this cheese and you don’t want it to spoil and especially if you don’t want to lose it, then this is the way forward.
Remember though that in spite of being able to freeze Ricotta, you will notice unfortunately that the due to freezing, the flavor cannot be the same. So bear in mind that this cheese will lose some of its moisture as you know that when freezing foodstuffs, crystals will form thereby resulting in an altered texture once thawed.
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Ricotta cheese can be frozen in an airtight storage container, plastic wrap, and aluminum foil and even in plastic freezer bags of good quality. If you would want to keep your Ricotta in a high-quality medium, then separate large portions of the cheese into your specific serving size for your family before freezing.
Another wonderful and easy method would be to spoon the Ricotta into freezing trays and once frozen will work very well for recipes that require only small amounts’ of the cheese. A helpful hint, label the bag and containers with the date of freezing and also what your contents are. A Ziploc bag is the most popular choice, make sure that you compress as much of the air as you possibly can and then seal it securely.
Does the Texture Change?
Sure it does, but this is the thawing process only and will not affect the taste, always remember that the curds and the whey in creamy Ricotta have a tendency to separate during the freezing process resulting in a drier much more crumblier cheese once it has thawed. This is one good reason why Ricotta cheeses are a better ingredient to use for cooked recipes that those that require a fresh cheese ingredient. The key features in this type of cheese have a tendency to succumb to some changes when frozen, your Ricotta cheese will now be less velvety and will have lost some of its original fat.
Now Ricotta definitely begins to deteriorate after one month of freezing temperatures of 0 degrees Fahrenheit and below, kept in this time period the cheese is still safe to eat and have in all your cooling recipes.
After this time your Ricotta will start to change in taste, also in color and the texture will begin to set in, and you will find major texture loss, keep in mind that these changes do not pose a health risk, but the Ricotta will have a poor taste and be less palatable. Although once you have removed the cheese and it has been thawed, it is always best to use all of it almost immediately.
However, after freezer burn sets in, the texture and taste will likely be altered to the point of being disgusting for most tastes, freezer burn can potentially be avoided by proper sealing of your containers or Ziploc bags.
You should never thaw frozen ricotta cheese on your kitchen counter. By storing your container in the fridge overnight is by far the safest way to thaw frozen ricotta and if it is really necessary, you could blend the ricotta with a metal spoon to mix and combine the curds and whey that have separated during the freezing process.
Using your Ricotta as soon as possible after thawing and for up to seven days this cheese will keep in this unfrozen state for a maximum period safely for seven days. Bacteria will set in rapidly if the cheese is thawed in over 40’ Fahrenheit for more than two hours, so the process of thawing in the fridge might take a little longer, but this is the safest route to take. Do not even think of running the frozen ricotta under a faucet (tap) of warm water as this is a risky method from a food safety point of view.
Cooking with Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta cheese is very versatile and is especially delicious in pasta dishes, on pizzas, pancakes and even in deserts too, making it a real star and main attraction in the kitchen for novices and expert cooks alike. Its flavor is rather light and fresh, making it a great addition to dishes for warm weather. Since your Ricotta cheese is now less buttery and has lost some of its original fat, you could use the cheese in recipes that don't essentially require it at its best. Some perfect examples include lasagne, velvety smooth pasta or casserole dishes.
An underrated cheese if ever there was one, Ricotta is the best of spreadable cheeses. It is great on its own but has a full throttle potential which comes through best when it's a supporting flavor. It mellows out strong and very robust flavors and always gives a lovely delicious creaminess to dry foods without adding simple moisture and will very likely highlight other ingredients than fight with them.
The cooking world is your oyster, so don’t be shy to experiment with ricotta cheese to enhance your cooking skills and there are a varied amount of recipes available on the internet to guide you through the cooking process step by step and especially those that you could use your frozen ricotta in. Stick to the golden rules of freezing, and you will come out tops.