Easy Homemade Ricotta2014-05-28
- Yield : About 2 cups (13 oz.)
- Servings : 8
- Prep Time : 5m
- Cook Time : 15m
- Ready In : 5:00 h
This information is per serving.
Calories from Fat70
Serving Size:About 1/4 cup (58g)
Supermarket ricotta cheese available in 15 to 32 ounce containers is usually an inferior cheese in name only compared to ricotta available decades ago in the United States.
Like many foods available today, manufacturers have cut corners to cut costs.
It only takes two ingredients and an instant read thermometer to make homemade ricotta superior to most store brands.
Ricotta means re-cooked. The traditionally method for making ricotta is using whey leftover from cheese making and whole milk. This recipe uses whole or reduced fat milk and citric acid, vinegar, or lemon juice to curdle the milk.
Citric acid, available in many stores or online, produces more consistant results and doesn’t add a lemon or vinegar taste. If you like lemon flavored ricotta, by all means use lemon juice.
Most of the time involved in making ricotta is wait time. Actual hands-on time is about 15 minutes.
- Draining ricotta too long or squeezing out most of the whey produces a ricotta with a feta or goat cheese consistency.
- Cheese cloth can be washed and reused.
- Refrigerate and use the whey for smoothies and protein drinks.
Do not use ultra-pasturized milk like lactose free milk for this recipe. Ultra-pasturization prevents curds from forming.
- 1/2 gal (2 l) whole or 2% milk
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) citric acid or 1/3 cup (80 ml) lemon juice or distilled white vinegar
- 3-4 qt/l pot
- Instant read or candy thermometer
- Cheese cloth, food grade
- Slotted spoon
Method of Preparation
Pour milk into pot and heat on medium to medium low heat until it reaches 200°F (94°C). Milk will foam and steam but should not boil. Check temperature using a thermometer. If milk begins to boil remove pot from heat.
Remove pot from heat and stir in citric acid, lemon juice, or vinegar. Let milk sit without stirring for 10 minutes to allow milk to separate into white curds and watery, yellow whey. After 10 minutes, use a slotted spoon to check for un-seperated milk (this can happen if there isn't enough acid in the lemon juice or vinegar). If that happens, stir in another tablespoons (15 ml) of lemon juice or vinegar.
Meanwhile, set a strainer in a bowl to capture the whey and line strainer with cheesecloth.
Using a slotted spoon, scoop curds into the strainer. You can drain and refrigerate the whey for use in smoothies and other recipes or discard it.
Drain curds 10 to 30 minutes depending on how dry or wet you like your ricotta or for your particular use. Check after 10 minutes and then about every 5 minutes until ricotta is desired consistency. If ricotta becomes too dry, stir in some whey.