Homemade Ricotta

May 10, 2009



I’m not much of a cheese person and barring the odd cheesecake, I rarely cook or bake with it. Lately though I’ve been harbouring a strange fascination with ricotta and started imagining all sort of recipes where I could use it (mostly sweet, naturally!).

I never imagined I’d be making my own cheese but lo and behold! After a bit of research and some sage advice from a few cheezoid companions, my mouth practically dropped whenI realised how easy and fast it was to make fresh ricotta! Seriously, a handful of basic ingredients and around 10 minutes on the stovetop and you could be enjoying your own fresh cheese. Plus it’s also cheaper and much, much tastier than any that you find at your local deli or supermarket. I don’t think I could ever buy ricotta from the store again.


Cheese-lover Mr S. was more than happy to learn and he’s now picturing himself enjoying fresh ricotta every weekend. Simplicity is the beauty here, that even he could do it unsupervised! And his verdict on the taste? Well, I think the act of him picking off stray chunks of ricotta off the kitchen bench says it all really! But I can’t judge, as I’m already armed with a handful of ricotta recipes, some of which, I’ll lovingly share with you all in the near future of course!


You will need a fine cheesecloth or muslin cloth, which you can pick up cheaply from any haberdashery or linen stores. For my fellow aussies, pick it up from any Lincraft or Spotlight store for around $5 per metre (which will give you two large enough sheets). If your cloth isn’t as fine then be sure to double the layers up when you strain the cheese. Remember to wash your new cloth before you use it (thanks Mr S. for the laundry reminder!).

As for the dairy, I used organic milk and cream, but any cream and whole milk that’s slightly pateurised is fine. Do not, however, use any that’s ultra-pasteurised.


Ingredients

1.9 L of whole milk (preferably organic)
1 C (250ml) heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbl (45ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice

Method

1. Line a colander or large sieve with a layer of fine, heavy cheesecloth or muslin cloth over a large bowl or pot (double layers if your cloth isn’t as fine).

2. In a heavy-based pot, slowly bring the milk, cream and salt to a rolling boil over moderate heat. Stir constantly to prevent the milk from scorching on the bottom.


3. Once it’s boiling, add the strained lemon juice and reduce the heat to a low simmer. Stir constantly, until the mixture curdles (about a minute or two).

4. Pour into the muslin-cloth lined sieve and leave it to drain for about an hour.


5. Cover the ricotta and chill in the refrigerator. Because it’s ultra fresh, be sure to use it by two days.


Note:
If you are planning to cook or bake with the ricotta, I suggest you leave it to drain in the fridge overnight to dry it as much as possible.

Recipe adapted from Gourmet

 

 


{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

alan August 15, 2011 at 19:16

This is only the beginning all of you Ricotta freaks !!!

Do a recipe search for Russian Pashka an easter cheesecake using fresh ricotta

ENJOY !!

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Cucee Sprouts April 15, 2011 at 03:03

I’ve always made my own cheeses and yogurts. Making Ricotta is super easy!!! And the final product costs a fraction of what you’d pay at Whole Foods!!!! I usually make mine with buttermilk but I have decided to experiment with various souring agents (lemon juice, vinegar, etc…) I posted pictures from my experiment on my blog: http://cuceesprouts.com/2011/04/homemade-farmers-cheese/

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Karen | Citrus and Candy May 13, 2009 at 11:45

Hi Megan – You’re welcome! Hope you enjoy it!

Hi Stephcookie – hehe glad to see I’m not the only one who’s a bit clumsy with the laundry! At least this post might’ve have reminded you!

Hi Simon – hehe, first I have to get of my bottom and do it!

Hi Sapuche – you’ll definitely love the mad scientist feel of feeling the milk curdle with each stir and by watching it strain out on the cheesecloth! Hope you enjoy it :)

Hi Yas – yep you must! Then bring me some lol

Hi Lorraine – I think it’s because we are all realising how easy it is!

Hi FFichiban – cheeeeeeeeeeeeeese indeed!

Hi Betty – trust me. It’s simpler than it looks!

Hi Nick – thanks for your tips and link! I’ll def have to try this if you say it tastes even better!

Hi Jen – I hope I spurred you on to make it now :) Thanks a lot!

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Jen May 11, 2009 at 17:03

I’ve been meaning to make ricotta, oh, since last summer. Thanks for the reminder, recipe and tantalizing photos!

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nick May 11, 2009 at 15:56

I bet this tasted great. A lot of people have never experienced how great “fresh” homemade cheese can be and these acid set curds couldn’t be easier to make.

If you can ever get your hands on some farm fresh milk, I highly suggest trying to make some ricotta by re-cooking mozzarella whey (the traditional way). The flavor profile is so smooth and complex at the same time. We made some a few months ago with raw milk and it came out great.

http://www.imafoodblog.com/index.php/2009/03/01/r2r-how-to-make-ricotta-cheese

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Betty @ The Hungry Girl May 10, 2009 at 22:49

that looks so simple to make! interesting…

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FFichiban May 10, 2009 at 09:10

Mmmmmmmm chhhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesee ^^!

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Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella May 10, 2009 at 06:34

Ooh so many bloggers are making their own ricotta, I should really give this a try. Making your own cheese is as fulfilling as making your own bread I’m sure :)

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Yas May 10, 2009 at 04:40

Wooo home made ricotta, that’s interesting! (and I loooove ricotta!) Gotta have some time to try this out myself. :)

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Sapuche May 10, 2009 at 00:15

I had no idea it was this simple to make ricotta! I’m definitely going to try this out. It’s not that totally different from making my own soy milk at home. (Nor is your finding that it’s cheaper and much tastier than the store-bought version.) Somehow I love heating up liquids and straining them through cheesecloth. I feel like I’m a mad scientist or something. :) Thanks for this great recipe!

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Simon May 9, 2009 at 23:45

Sheer simplicity, isn’t it? :)

Can’t wait to see what you’ll be cooking up with these :)

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Stephcookie May 9, 2009 at 22:59

Yum I’ve been dying to make my own ricotta for ages! It looks so easy and I some muslin the other day. Great post :) I would probably have forgotten to wash it haha

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Megan {Feasting on Art} May 9, 2009 at 21:21

I really get a kick out of making things completely out of scratch and now I dont think I will ever be able to make a pasta dish with store-bought ricotta again! I will definitely book mark this post for future reference!! Thanks so much.

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