Homemade Ricotta

By Ashley | Cheese

Feb 02

I will be the first to admit that I am cautious about dairy products. Mass produced dairy from factory farms is full of antibiotics and devoid of nutrients. That is why I highly suggest using organic milk if you want to nourish your body along with your soul with this wonderful, easy cheese. Despite that I have seen people make ricotta many times and I have ready several recipes, I did fail at my first attempt because I did not add enough lemon juice, nor did I bring the milk to a high enough temperature. You must be patient. If you have the flame very high the bottom will scorch and you will have brown ricotta. Yuck! Just a side note: I have never bought cheesecloth because I have an abundance of muslin from my designing days, but I imagine they function equally well. Also, I want to use this same method with goat’s milk because the idea of homemade, rennant-free goat cheese thrills me. Anyway, have fun making this Italian specialty that can really be a blank canvas for anything and don’t forget to check out the ideas below. Bon appetito!

Homemade Ricotta

½ gallon organic whole milk
½ tbsp sea salt
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Optional: zest of 1 lemon (why waste it?!)

Pour milk into a heavy-bottom pot over medium heat. Slowly bring to a boil. Then turn down heat and reduce milk to a simmer and stir in lemon juice. The milk will start to curdle and the whey (yellow liquid) will separate. This will take a minute or two. Once cheese is thick and slightly crumbly pour into a cheesecloth or muslin-lined fine mesh strainer and allow to drain for 30 min to an hour. Wring out cheesecloth. If you want a very dry cheese, squeeze out nearly all the liquid (this works well for making gnocchi). For a wetter cheese, gently squeeze out about half the liquid. Stir in lemon zest if desired. Serve warm or chilled. Keeps about 5 days refrigerated.

Serving Suggestions:

Ricotta over Pappardelle with Roasted Mushrooms and Arugula

Ricotta over Pappardelle with Roasted Mushrooms and Arugula

 

Ricotta with Red Quinoa, Wilted Arugula and Lemon Zest

Ricotta with Red Quinoa, Wilted Arugula and Lemon Zest

ricotta toast

Ricotta on Toast with Bananas, Honey and Walnuts


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