I think the hardest thing of making homemade ricotta is having the patients to let the cheese drain, in other words degreasing the water content and concentrating the flavor and richness.
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 making homemade ricotta
All organic milk in super markets is UHT treated to extend shelf live to 16 to 21 days, I guess with the price of organic milk it takes some time to move that product of the shelf.
So stick to pasteurized whole milk which makes a 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 milks you will get the same results, cow’s milk naturally gives you a sweet flavor while goats milk or sheep’s milk will give you a richer taste. I have made over time several batches of ricotta, one with buttermilk, whole milk, and salt, one batch with whole milk, cream, salt and white vinegar and one with whole milk, cream, salt and fresh lemon juice.
They all turned out great the one made with white vinegar, for me seems to give the cleanest taste and the best consistency. FYI: the only equipment needed to make ricotta is a stainless steel pot, cheese cloth and thermometer.
FYI, homemade ricotta is not a true ricotta but it tastes as good as the real stuff.
The real Ricotta is a by-product of cheese making, it is made from the whey and its name like many other great Italian names for food describes exactly how it is made: It is re-cooked
Chef’s tip: The protein rich whey can be used to make smoothies, so don’t throw away,keep in the refrigerator and drink over ice
Whey protein contains an incredible range of essential amino acids, which are absorbed quickly
Whey has also been shown to have benefits for depression, blood pressure and blood sugar.
If you’ve ever opened a yogurt container to see liquid floating on top, this is whey.