Making your own batch of fresh, creamy ricotta is unbelievably simple. All you need is milk, lemons and about half an hour of your time. This stuff turns out so well that once you make it, its hard to go back to that store-bought tub.
For the half hour mentioned, the time that you’ll be actually working on this ricotta is probably 10 minutes or less, the rest of the time the ingredients will be doing their job of separating into curds and whey while you work on other more important stuff in your kitchen (like making tea, munching on snacks and checking your social feeds). And soon enough, you will have the most creamiest and richest ricotta cheese ready for your pizza, pasta or whatever dessert recipe you are craving to try. This stuff is so good that I have to stop myself from eating it by the spoonfuls so that I have some left for the recipe I made it for.
Homemade ricotta really does have better texture and flavor than store-bought one due to the fact that it’s freshly made. I also like that I can make exactly the amount of ricotta that I need (2 litres roughly make 2 cups). Making ricotta yourself also gives you a bonus: the leftover whey which I love to use in curries or rice.
Yesterday I made it for a Italian dish I have been meaning to try for quite some time now. I will be sharing that soon too but I have to say that I was so happy with making my own ricotta and it was truly the highlight of that dish.
2 litres whole milk (not skimmed, not UHT)
1/3 cup lemon juice OR 1/3 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
1. Pour the milk into a saucepan and set it over medium heat. Let it warm gradually. As soon as it starts to foam at the ends and just about to simmer, remove it from heat. You don’t want to boil it, take it off the heat if that happens.2. Pour in the lemon juice or vinegar and salt. Stir gently to combine.3. Let the pan of milk sit undisturbed for 10 minutes. After this time, the milk should have separated into clumps of milky white curds and thin, watery, yellow-colored whey — dip your slotted spoon into the mix to check. 4. Strain the curds: Set a strainer over a bowl and line the strainer with cheese cloth. Scoop the big curds out of the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the strainer. Pour the remaining curds and the whey through the strainer.5. Let the ricotta drain for 10 to 60 minutes, depending on how wet or dry you prefer your ricotta.6. Fresh ricotta can be used right away or refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.
I hope you try this one out, I would love to know if you do. Have you ever tried making any other dairy products at home? I recently also made Greek yougurt and my 1 year old loved it. 🙂