Homemade Ricotta Cheese

The best thing about making homemade ricotta is that it is made from everyday, common ingredients that are always available in your home. So I encourage you to give it a try!

Ricotta cheese is classified as a soft, unripened cheese.  It has its origins in Italy, but is now made world-wide, and even you can even make it in your own home! 

homemade ricotta

Making Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta is typically made from cow's milk, and it has a sweet, almost nut-like flavour.

Because of its soft texture, ricotta has many uses in food preparation, such as in appetizers, salads, casseroles, and desserts.


Homemade Ricotta Cheese Recipe

This recipe is courtesy of Karen M.

Yield: Approximately 2 cups.

Equipment:   

  • large stockpot (make sure it has a heavy bottom)
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • thermometer
  • clean cheesecloth or tea towel
  • strainer
  • bowl
  • spoon
  • airtight container (to hold approximately 2 cups)

Ingredients:   

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 fresh lemon (to make 2 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice)
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt (personal preference for saltiness)
  • 2 quarts whole pasteurized milk
  • 1/2 quart heavy cream

Instructions:

Assemble all ingredients and equipment.

Squeeze lemon to obtain 2 1/2 tablespoons of fresh juice.

In the stockpot, place milk, cream, and salt. Bring to a medium-high heat.

While stirring, bring to a temperature of 190o F. Stir frequently so that milk/cream does not burn and scorch your stockpot (You'd regret the cleanup!)

After milk mixture has reached 190o F, remove it from the heat.

Add vinegar and lemon juice: stir to combine vinegar and juice with milk mixture.

The curds should start to form within 5 minutes of removal from the heat. If you do not see the curds separating from the whey, allow the mixture to rest for no more than 5 more minutes. And, if necessary, add more vinegar, in increments of 1 tablespoon at a time, until you see the curds separate.

Meanwhile, assemble the strainer over the large bowl. Take at least 2 layers of cheesecloth (or tea towel); rinse it in cold water to dampen and then ring out and place into strainer and over bowl.

Slowly pour the curdled mixture into the cheesecloth/strainer. Let the ricotta drain from the whey for 45 minutes to an hour. (Note: the longer the ricotta drains, the drier it becomes.)

If you wish, you can use the whey (liquid) for something else.

Carefully remove the ricotta from the cheesecloth with a spoon. Place into an airtight container. Stir. Cover and then refrigerate. Discard cheesecloth or tea towel.

This homemade Ricotta should last, refrigerated, for up to 5 days.




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