Homemade Ricotta Cheese

After you read this post, you can now call yourself a cheese maker.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

Well after you make this recipe too, of course. I think adding “cheese maker” to your repertoire has a nice ring to it, don’t ya think?

You can say cool things like… “Last week when I was making cheese…” or “I’m sorry, I can’t go out tonight, I’ll be making cheese”. See, you can use your newly found cheese making skills to cancel a date instead of saying you have to blow dry your cat.

It’s been said before…don’t judge.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

The process is pretty easy really. All you need is milk and cream, acid and some time. Get the best whole milk you can find, you can taste the difference. Then you bring it up to temp and get it nice and sweaty. After a few heightened degrees, acid is added it help form the curds. And speaking of curds, here’s a vocabulary lesson for you! Curds are the curdling cheese that starts to pull away from the whey, which is the liquid that’s leftover. When I was making the ricotta, Joe said “Wow, how much water did you pout in there?” And that is when he learned what curds and whey were.

This batch makes enough to stuff in a few 4oz mason jars and are perfect for homey gifts. Tie a little ribbon around it with a tag that shows off your cheese and you have the perfect food-lovers gift, if they last that long, that is.

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself sneaking big spoonfuls. It’s pretty addictive.

Also, another tip, thanks to Wonky Wonderful: As the curds are draining, do not..and I repeat..DO NOT press down on the curds to squeeze more liquid out. This will cause you to have a very dry cheese! Instead, just allow the liquid to naturally drip off and once you don’t see any more liquid, then you should be goo to go. It took me a solid 2 hours.

Method:

1) In a large pot, combine milk, cream and salt. Place on low-medium heat and use a candy thermometer to bring the milk up to 190 degrees F.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

2) Once it reaches temperature, turn off heat and add lemon juice. Stir it once and allow to sit for 5 minutes. At this point you should see the milk beginning to curdle.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

3) Line a large mesh strainer we several layers of cheese cloth. Place the strainer on top of a very large pot and ladle the milk mixture into lined strainer. You will need a large pot to catch all of the liquid, there will be a lot.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

4) Allow the mixture to drain for 2 hours. Do not squeeze the cheese, just allow the liquid to nationally drip off.

5) When done, scoop fresh ricotta into large or small mason jars and show off your work to your friends.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Recipe from Wonky Wonderful

Ingredients

  • 8 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 10 Tb fresh lemon juice, strained (about 3-4 lemons)
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, combine milk, cream and salt. Place on low-medium heat and use a candy thermometer to bring the milk up to 190 degrees F.
  2. Once it reaches temperature, turn off heat and add lemon juice. Stir it once and allow to sit for 5 minutes. At this point you should see the milk beginning to curdle.
  3. Line a large mesh strainer we several layers of cheese cloth. Place the strainer on top of a very large pot and ladle the milk mixture into lined strainer. You will need a large pot to catch all of the liquid, there will be a lot.
  4. Allow the mixture to drain for 2 hours. Do not squeeze the cheese, just allow the liquid to nationally drip off.
  5. When done, scoop fresh ricotta into large or small mason jars and show off your work to your friends.
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Homemade Ricotta Cheese via LittleFerraroKitchen.com

Comments

  1. says

    Great job making your own ricotta, but you’re missing half of the fun! In other words, what dish did you make with your ricotta? Might I suggest a ricotta cheesecake? Lasagna Bolognese?

    Also, a hint I learned from reading Michael Chiarello: To help drain the whey from the curds, tie the corners of your cheesecloth to a faucet to create a bag. I was able to drain the whey off in about 20 minutes. I have a picture when I made ricotta myself about a year ago.
    DB-The Foodie Stuntman recently posted..Light Stunt: Bulgogi-Korean Marinated BeefMy Profile

  2. Dinaz says

    Growing up in India, we used a lot of paneer in our cooking. After coming to the US I learnt to make my own paneer. Reading your blog I learnt paneer is the same as ricotta cheese!!!

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