Fresh Ricotta, you can make this cheese in less time than it takes to go to the store, buy a pre-made version, and return home. The hardest thing about making fresh ricotta is having the patients let the cheese drain, in other words decreasing the water content and concentrating the flavor and richness. My homemade fresh ricotta is quite close in flavor and texture to true ricotta and can be so much better than the store-bought product. Real Ricotta is a by-product of cheese making, it is made from whey. I don’t have access to a large amount of whey, so using pasteurized whole milk gives me wonderful creamy ricotta, that is as good as the real stuff.
Making your own Ricotta
There is something satisfying about making fresh cheese, I know of people after they made the recipe who got that “I MADE CHEESE” attitude.
Making cheese often involves both starter culture and rennet. You can also make cheese very simply, letting the natural bacteria do their work, causing the cheese curds to separate from the whey. Ricotta cheese is a very simple to make cheese. My ricotta recipe, when combined and whipped with a little heavy cream, becomes creamy and fluffy and can be the base for amazing sweet or savory dishes. Take the time, make your own homemade ricotta and enjoy the experience of making your own simple cheese.
What milk to use?
Cow’s milk that is UHT heated, which stands for ultra-high temperature — heated to 275 degrees in order to kill bacteria, does not work very well in making homemade ricotta. All organic milk in supermarkets is UHT treated to extend its shelf life to 16 to 21 days. I guess with the price of organic milk it takes some time to move that product off the shelf. So I stick with pasteurized whole milk which makes great ricotta, once you tasted the pure flavor, you will look never be able to look at the store-bought stuff again. On the other hand, if you have access to goat milk you will get the same results. Cow’s milk naturally gives you a sweet flavor while goat’s milk or sheep’s milk will give you a richer taste.
I have made over time several different batches of Ricotta
- one batch with buttermilk, whole milk, and salt
- one batch with whole milk, cream, salt, and white vinegar
- one with whole milk, cream, salt, and fresh lemon juice
They all turned out great, the one made with whole milk, cream, and white vinegar seems to give me the cleanest taste and the best consistency. FYI: the only equipment needed to make ricotta is a stainless steel pot, cheesecloth, and thermometer
Treat yourself to a simple great Ricotta sandwich
When you think of sandwiches you think of a quick lunch. The truth is, that a great sandwich served is appropriate for lunch, dinner, or a snack. If you are a sandwich fan, what is more, satisfying than fresh ricotta, mashed avocado, and roasted sweet peppers, on fresh-baked crusty farmer’s bread? Farmer’s bread is the perfect bread for that sandwich, be sure to slightly toast it crispy before topping it with a generous helping of homemade ricotta.
What is Whey?
Whey is one of the primary proteins found in dairy products. If you are opening a yogurt container and see the liquid floating on top, this is whey. The same liquid that forms when you make ricotta or yogurt. Whey has the flavor of plain yogurt, so it lends itself to use in your smoothies. Whey protein contains an incredible range of essential amino acids, which are absorbed quickly. Amino acids, often referred to as the building blocks of proteins, are compounds that play many critical roles in your body. I keep my liquid whey refrigerated in a tightly sealed glass container and store it up for one week.
A refreshing balance, contrast, and clean flavor
The hardest thing about making homemade ricotta is having the patients let the cheese drain.
Easy recipe to make,
I know of people after they made the recipe who got that “I MADE CHEESE” attitude.
- 2 quart whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 tbsp vinegar distilled, white
- 1 pinch sea salt
Heat the Milk
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring the milk and cream to a temperature of 175 F.2 quart whole milk, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 3 tbsp vinegar, 1 pinch sea salt
- Add the vinegar and sea salt and stir briefly. Once you add the vinegar, curds will form. Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes undisturbed
Drain the Ricotta
- Line a colander with a quadruple layer of cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Ladle the mixture into a colander. Stop draining when the mixture begins to look like ricotta, 5 to 15 minutes, depending on how dry you like it.
- Cool, transfer to an airtight container, and store for up to one week.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate