Part of my love for cooking comes from my thriftiness and desire to eat foods closer to the source.  I started baking my own bread because I was tired of seeing High Fructose Corn Syrup or Glucose/Fructose in the supermarket stuff.  Another candidate for tackling myself has been making homemade ricotta.  The supermarket stuff is always pretty crappy and usually has things like Guar Gum and other stabilizers in it. Blech.  Sure, I could go to the Italian market and buy better quality stuff but that becomes more expensive and is out of the way.

I don’t remember where I found out that I could make my own ricotta but it has been an idea in the back of my mind for a while.  For the record the method I used isn’t EXACTLY ricotta per se but it’s pretty darned close so we’re just calling it ricotta (ok purists?).  After some research I learned that ricotta requires few ingredients and they are common ones: milk, salt and lemon juice or vinegar (so recipes also list cream or buttermilk).  Easy enough AND cheap enough. Ricotta is often (traditionally) made with sheep’s milk or cow’s milk.  I seriously considered going the sheep route but buying sheep’s milk requires some hunting around the city.  I figured for this first batch I’d use cow’s milk to make sure it actually worked and then we’d go from there.  I ended up getting a little jiggy with things and using half cow’s milk and half goat’s milk.

I’m not kidding when I say making ricotta is easy.  You heat the milk with salt (some say to a certain temperature, others say to a boil).  Stir in the acid and let it curdle.  Then you allow it to drain in cheese cloth and you have ricotta.  I’m not even joking. Ridiculously easy.

(Curds being separated from the whey)

(Draining the ricotta)

The results were so much richer and creamier than the store-bought ricotta.  It even had a slight sweetness to it.  I had to stop myself from eating it by the spoon.  I wish I had some bread on hand because it would have made a killer bruschetta with olive oil and some chopped herbs.

Now that I’ve made my own ricotta I can pretty much guarantee that I won’t buy it from the supermarket anymore.  I used 2L of milk and got about 21 oz of ricotta.  The standard supermarket tub usually has about a pound or less and sells for around $5 and tastes like crap.  The effort required to make the ricotta was practically non-existant making this a really simple project. AND you end up with a lot of whey, some of which I used in pancakes in place of buttermilk.

Just wait until you see what I made with my ricotta…

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14 Responses to How To Make Homemade Ricotta

  1. WOMPblog says:

    {new blog entry} How To Make Homemade Ricotta

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  2. foodie411 says:

    So easy! Love it. RT @wonTONfm: {new blog entry} How To Make Homemade Ricotta

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  3. ortdavid says:

    Nice. Mozzarella next? RT @wonTONfm: {new blog entry} How To Make Homemade Ricotta

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  4. Duchess says:

    I am soooooooo going to make this! Thanks!

  5. dishdivajaz says:

    Oohhh, will def give it a try! RT @wonTONfm: {new blog entry} How To Make Homemade Ricotta

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  6. […] please – who knew homemade ricotta was so easy? Check it. [What's on My […]

  7. Marie says:

    When I went to mozz making class, they really impressed on us to use non-grocery store milk which was homonogized & ultra pasturized, etc.

    Did you just use regular old milk?

    I cannot make this, because I will eat it all, and I will be 500 lbs.

  8. […] please – who knew homemade ricotta was so easy? Check it. [What's on My […]

    • Mohammed says:

      To add to the confusion, I bilveee ricotta( which means twice cooked ) is made from the whey after the first curds or cheese is removed. The ri part is when the whey is cooked or the left over proteins are coagulated again. In any event, I don’t think it matters what you call it ( cheese or ricotta) I am sure it tastes great.

  9. Joni says:

    I’ve just started making my own ricotta at home too, and it’s so dead simple that literally the hardest part is carrying the milk home from the grocery store. I much prefer using fresh lemon juice instead of the vinegar, the taste is much milder. I’ve also tried this method with goat’s milk (which might be more readily available in a big grocery store than you think!), and it tasted EXACTLY like a delicious goat’s cheese you might buy at a deli. So even bigger savings there! I’ve also added herbs, garlic, etc. into the milk before straining for a bit of an infused flavour—it worked great. :) You can also re-process the whey to get the last little bit of the curds out of it again. Mmm, ricotta…

  10. valtaosan asioista voisi tehdä itse, jos viitsisi. Ricottankin:

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  11. winetrends says:

    How To Make Homemade Ricotta » What’s On My Plate: #cheese

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  12. I love making cheeses. I usually make Ricotta (farmer’s cheese) with buttermilk but I have decided to experiment with various souring agents (lemon juice, vinegar, etc…) I posted pictures from my experiment on my blog:

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