Homemade ricotta tastes so much better than store bought that it can stand alone as the star of the show, and it’s surprisingly easy to make.
I discovered homemade ricotta several years ago, and just can’t go back. It’s so much more flavorful that anything I’ve ever had in a grocery store, and so super easy to make. I love it spread on a thick slice of crusty sourdough, strawberries and drizzle of honey optional (but definitely welcome).
Basically ricotta is just curdled milk in a controlled way. Old school true ricotta is made with very fresh (not past 1 hour old) whey after making other cheeses to curdle the milk, but I’m guessing most of you don’t have access to that. So I used fresh lemon juice. You can use vinegar as well, but make sure you go with a mild tasting and very light colored vinegar as it’ll effect color and flavor a little.
And you know how I don’t do low fat? Don’t skimp here. Really. I mean it. Get the best quality milk and cream you can afford and just indulge on the loveliness. Depending on the milk and cream you use, you’ll get roughly 2 cups of ricotta from 5 cups whole milk and 1 cup cream. 2 cups of pure heaven.
And no need to feel wasteful, you can use the whey from your ricotta to water your plants. Weird? Maybe. But it’s actually highly nutritious and your plants will thank you.
You could also use this whey to soak grains, seeds, and nuts in to remove harmful anti-nutrients to make them digestible. More on that here.
- 5 cups whole milk
- 1 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup lemon juice, white wine vinegar, white balsamic vinegar, or other light colored acid that you like
- Set a large sieve or colander over a large bowl. Lay a double layer of cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel in the colander.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, cream, and salt. Heat over medium heat until just before boiling point, at approximately 200°F. Immediately take off of the heat. Add the lemon juice and gently give it a stir. Allow the mixture to sit for about 1 minute to curdle.
- Carefully pour the mixture into the cheesecloth-lined colander. Let it drain for about 30 minutes, occasionally stirring and scraping up sides and bottom. The longer you let it drain, the thicker the ricotta will be. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.