Homemade Ricotta Cheese
So who knew?
Homemade Ricotta literally takes 5 minutes to come together! I was reading my Bon Appetit magazine and saw a picture of homemade ricotta hanging in a cheesecloth and as I browsed through the recipe I was surprised to learn you didn’t need anything fancy for homemade ricotta, just milk, cream, salt and lemon juice.
I had to try it. We’ve been buying raw milk from a top secret individual and I decided to use it since the recipe called for two cups of milk and one cup of heavy cream. After reading several recipes on the net, it seemed like a vastly different amount of milk was used in each recipe but consistently only two to three tablespoons of acid was used.
But first you need to do some prep work.
Get a pack of cheesecloth, a medium-sized bowl and a strainer.
When you open the cheesecloth, if it’s a long strip, just fold it in half so there will be two layers of cloth.
Lay it overtop of the strainer and place the whole thing on top of the bowl.
Also, juice up one lemon.
So I poured two cups of the milk and one cup of heavy cream into a sauce pan along with 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt.
Put this over medium heat, but stir it often just until you see it start to bubble, then hurry up and remove it from the burner. Dump in two tablespoons of lemon juice.
Then, stir very gently (but quickly) to mix the lemon juice throughout the hot milk. As soon as you see curds start to form, (and it happens very quickly), stop stirring and let it set for five minutes.
After five minutes, pour the entire thing into your cheesecloth.
And let it set in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
I was pretty surprised at the amount of cheese you get out of four quarts of milk – about 1/2 cup. The rest became whey and there was quite a bit of it.
The whey is the stuff they turn to powder and use for protein powder drinks and is very good for you. Mr. Wonderful suggested we freeze it in ice cube trays to add to our smoothies.
After 20 minutes, you can dump the ricotta into a bowl. It just rolls right out of the cheesecloth.
If you prefer a creamier ricotta, don’t drain it so long. I ended up with a pretty drier crumbly ricotta cheese.
I ended up making three batches of ricotta and roughly ended up with exactly two cups.
I couldn’t believe how easy it was!
- (Adapted from Bon Appetit)
- 2 c. whole milk
- 1 c. heavy cream
- ½ t. kosher salt
- 2 T. lemon juice
- Lay two layers of cheesecloth over a strainer propped on a medium sized bowl (non-reactive)
- Pour milk into medium saucepan and add cream and salt
- Turn heat on medium and keep stirring while bringin liquid to a boil
- As soon as it boils, remove it from the heat and stir in the lemon juice gently
- When you see curds start to form, stop stirring and place mixture in refrigerator for 20 minutes to drain
- If you want creamier ricotta only drain 10 minutes
- If you want dry curd ricotta, leave for an hour
- Store up to a week in the refrigerator