How to make Homemade Ricotta
There isn’t really anything better in the entire world than cheese. Fresh delicious and smooth cheese. Well, maybe one thing is better… being able to make it yourself!
Last week I spent an afternoon making fresh ricotta and running around my apartment yelling CURDS and WHEY all afternoon as the cheese making process was a success. My poor neighbors must think I am a lunatic.
I started my cheese making extravaganza with ricotta because it seems as if its the easiest to make and I had just visited my favorite Italian deli in Santa Monica where I bought fresh ricotta and then proceeded to eat the entire thing in 1 day. So, because I was not able to get back into my car and drive down there again… I made my own. Making your own Ricotta is great because you don’t have to buy any hard to find ingredients… just some quality low pasteurized milk and buttermilk. And because I love you guys so much, I have put together a step by step picture tutorial on how to do it yourself!
Start out by lining a colander with about 5 layers of cheese cloth. Make sure there is enough draping over the edges so it doesn't fall into the colander later in the process.
In a large heavy bottom pot add 1 gallon of low pasteurized milk (which I bought from my local farm - its pretty much raw milk) and 1 quart of good quality buttermilk. Bring this to around 180 degrees... not quite a simmer. Using a wooden spoon, occasionally stir the mixture to make sure none of the curds are sticking to the bottom of the pan. Once the mixture reaches the desired temperature you will start to see the curds and whey separate. Turn off the heat and let the curds do their work.
Using a mesh spoon, start removing the curds from the pot and placing them into your cheese cloth lined colander. Continue this process until you have removed each precious curd from the pot and all that is left is the whey. Let the curds drain for about 25 minutes.
Once the curds have drained in the colander, gather the ends of the cheese cloth to make a pouch of the curds. Hang it to dry for another 30 minutes. Don't squeeze the pouch... I know it's temping but it will harden the curds.
Once drained, remove the curds from the cheese cloth and season with salt. Store in an air tight container or eat it with a spoon right then and there.
And there you have it! Fresh homemade ricotta cheese! This recipe yields about 3 cups of ricotta… which is more than enough for me to develop some fabulous new recipes! I promise to share them once I am done eating at least 1 cup of this with a spoon and a little basil on top!
Tags: cheese making, How to make cheese, How to make ricotta, ricotta cheese