Are you interested in making your own cheese? Ricotta Cheese From Scratch is one of the easiest cheeses to make at home and so much better than store-bought!
Hi, Friends! How is everyone doing? I hope you're all healthy and sane and hopefully staying home right now. With everyone being home and everything being closed, what better time to start something new or something that you've wanted to do but "haven't had the time"! Like cheese-making?!?! Here is, hands down, my favorite cheese to make at home. It's easy. It's fast. It's Homemade Ricotta Cheese!
Simple ingredients you may already have!
- Whole Milk - Definitely needs to be whole, full fat milk.
- Fresh lemon juice - Bottled juice works fine too!
- Kosher Salt - Regular table salt works, too.
- Citric Acid - This is key to curdling the cheese into curds.
Ok did you just look at that list and go, Citric acid, whaaaat. Ok ok, most people don't have citric acid in their spice pantry (although you should so you can make ricotta or mozzarella anytime!). But if you DON'T have it, Apple Cider Vinegar is a great substitute!
Or, if you want to stock up on some, you can usually find it in the bulk spice section of your grocery store, or there's always Amazon.
- A large stainless steel or non reactive pot
- Large slotted spoon
- Sieve or colander (here's our sieve)
- Thermometer (here's one we love)
- Cheese Cloth This is the one we love!
As long as you have these things, this cheese is truly one of the easiest cheeses you can make at home!
How to make Homemade Ricotta Cheese:
Seriously, it's so easy.
- Slowly heat cheese
- Add lemon juice, citric acid, and salt
- Let sit
- Spoon curds into cheese cloth lined sieve
Can it get any easier when it comes to cheese?! Trust me, it doesn't. We've made a few in this household:
And the labor of love is amazing Feta Cheese From Scratch!
But truly, this ricotta is the easiest of them all!
Tips for making Ricotta:
Ok, yeah I say it's the easiest, although for your first time, there are definitely a few things you'll want to keep in mind!
- Take your milk out of the fridge to warm up a little before! This way you're not trying to heat up fridge cold milk.
- Heat it slowly. You definitely don't want to burn the milk!
- Check your milk temp often! Once it starts to heat up, it can get to temp fast and you don't want it to get too hot.
- Slowly scoop most of the curds out into the cheese cloth.
- Then pour the whey and curd into the lined cheese cloth sloowwlllyyy and little bits at a time
- Let it drain, swirl the colander a little to help the process along
- Be VERY careful gathering the edge of the cheese cloth - make sure that it's all collected so you don't lose any!
Also, head over to my Instagram to see my highlighted stories of some process videos!!
This recipe makes about 14 oz of cheese. Which is about the same size as a tub of the store bought stuff. And it's the perfect amount for a batch of Lemon Ricotta Cookies!
Or if you double the recipe (which is what I usually do!) then you can also make:
Oooh AND when you're done you're going to have all of this lovely, Whey! And just wait to see what we make with it!!
Stay safe, friends! Again, if you're home and you have some extra milk around, now's a great time to start makin' some cheeeesssee!
Homemade Ricotta Cheese
- 1/2 gallon whole milk
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon citric acid OR 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Take milk out of the fridge and let come to room temperature.
- In a large pot over medium heat, add milk to pot and heat to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove from heat and then add lemon juice, citric acid, and salt and give a gentle stir and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Line a sieve or colander with a cheese cloth and place over a tall pot. You want something that will allow all of the whey to under the bottom of the sieve / colander. Make sure the whole sieve / colander is covered so that you can easily gather it ALL up - I try to tuck the cloth between the sieve / colander and pot to secure it.
- After 10 minutes use a spoon to check to see if curds have formed by gently pulling at curds to see if they separate from the whey.
- With a slotted spoon, ladle curds onto cheese cloth. Go slowly. Let the whey drain. Add more. Let the whey drain. Until most of the larger curds are ladled out.
- When you have most of the large curds out, slowly poor the rest into the cheese cloth. Just a little bit at a time, don't fill it all too much. Be careful to not let the cloth slip. To speed up the process you could gently turn it all so that whey can drain out the upper edges of the sieve / colander.
- Once it all has been poured and drained, gently gather all of the edges of the cheese cloth and give it a gentle squeeze to get a little more out of the whey out. Not all - you want to keep some to keep a nice moist ricotta cheese!
- Transfer cheese from cloth into bowl and either use immediately or cover and store in fridge for up to a week.
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