As much as I love to cook and experiment, making cheese has always seemed intimidating. It just seemed like a little too much. But, after hearing from a few friends who had started making cheese I decided to give it a go and I’m so glad that I did.
I was completely shocked with how easy it was. In about 30 minutes I went from having a carton of milk to some crazy delicious homemade ricotta. It was simple enough that I honestly can’t imagine purchasing store-bought ricotta again. As you’d except, the taste and texture of homemade ricotta way surpasses the store-bought equivalent.
I’ve now made ricotta several times to use in lasagna and as an appetizer with some warm French bread. However you decide to use it, it will be delicious.
Just to reiterate it again- this is so, so easy. I swear you’ll be able to do it with no problem!
- 2 quarts whole milk, pasteurized (not ultra pasteurized)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2½ tbl. lemon juice, fresh
- 2 tbl. distilled white vinegar
- Combine the milk and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally and heat until the milk reaches 185 degrees on an instant thermometer. Once it has reached the temperature, remove from heat and add the lemon juice and vinegar. Stir for about 15 seconds to distribute the acids, then let it sit for 10 minutes. Gently stir the mixture to confirm that the white curds have fully separated from the yellow whey. If there is still some milky whey, add an additional tablespoon of vinegar and let it sit another 2-3 minutes.
- Line a strainer with 3 layers of cheesecloth. Pour the mixture through the cheesecloth and let it drain for 8 to 12 minutes. For moist ricotta (to use in an appetizer or spread) drain for 8 minutes, for a drier result (such as for a lasagna) drain the ricotta for 12 minutes.
- Stir the ricotta together, then cover and refrigerate until you want to use it.
Source: America’s Test Kitchen