Making Ricotta Cheese

Delicious homemade ricotta cheese.

 

Apparently, today is National Cheese Day–I didn’t even know that was a thing. It’s a good thing that yesterday I decided to make homemade ricotta cheese to celebrate. I visited a cheese factory once and it seemed as if I’d need a lot of fancy equipment to pull this off, but this was surprisingly (and kind of embarrassingly) easy to make. If you have a craving for a smooth and creamy cheese, why not give this a try. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 lemon juice or white wine vinegar

*You’ll also need cheesecloth.

Directions:

  • In a large pot, over medium heat, heat milk, heavy cream, and salt to 195 degrees (use a candy thermometer), stirring regularly. Don’t heat the milk too quickly to avoid scorching, scalding, or boiling.

 

Heat milk and cream over medium heat.
Heat to 195 degrees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • While the milk mixture is heating, prepare colander or sieve.  You’ll need a deep bowl, colander, and cheesecloth. Put the colander in the bowl; you want to make sure there’s plenty of room for liquid to drain without touching the bottom of the colander. Layer cheesecloth in the colander.

 

Layer cheesecloth into the colander.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • When milk mixture reaches 195 degrees, add lemon juice or white wine vinegar and gently stir.
  • Remove from heat and let set without stirring for 5 minutes. I know it’s hard but have patience.

 

Let set for five minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Carefully pour hot mixture into prepared colander and allow to drain for 20 minutes. This will give you a light, creamy, smooth ricotta. If you would prefer a firmer cheese, allow to drain for about an hour.

 

 

Let cheese drain. Empty bowl as needed.
At 20 minutes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ready to Eat!

 

 

That’s it! And it’s ready to eat!  Your ricotta will last about a week in the refrigerator–if you don’t eat it all first!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serving suggestions: spread on crostini, drizzle with olive oil or add some chopped tomatoes and basil; for a quick and delicious dessert, serve with sliced strawberries and drizzle with honey. The uses are endless–this is just what I had for dinner last night–so yummy!

I did some research before I decided to make ricotta cheese in my kitchen. Most recipes I found on-line were very similar to the one here. A lot of people commented, though, that it’s really not ricotta. Many of the comments didn’t sound really all that educated, but I know they all must know more than I did at the start of this project. Some have suggested that it’s more like paneer, a soft Indian cheese. I don’t really know, but Ina Garten and Martha Stewart both called their versions ricotta, so that’s what I’m going with. But whatever you call it, it’s delicious.

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