I can’t believe I used to buy Ricotta Cheese at the grocery store thinking it was an all too special ingredient that had to be bought instead of made. You are not going to believe how easy it is to make yourself and it literally takes minutes.
You can do it in just a couple of easy steps and only need 4 ingredients:
- Whole Milk (can also substitute with Goat or Sheep’s Milk)
- Heavy Cream
- Kosher Salt
- 1 Fresh Lemon
The only trick to making your own Ricotta is having one item on hand: A Jelly Strainer Bag. Most people will tell you to use cheese cloth which, of course, you can use but I will tell you this, using cheese cloth makes the process messy and I think deters most people from ever making it again. Spend a couple dollars on reusable Jelly Bags that you can put in the dishwasher and you will be so happy you did as you can use them for a ton of different things like straining herbs for soup, making tea or for their intended use, jelly. I ordered mine from Amazon Prime for just a couple of dollars. Here is the link:
Once you have the jelly bag in hand, you can get to work. Here is the recipe:
DIY Ricotta Cheese
3 cups Whole Milk (can also substitute with Goat or Sheep’s Milk)
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
3 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
In large saucepan, bring milk, cream and salt to a full boil. Remove from heat and add 3 Tbsp. of freshly squeezed lemon juice and gently stir. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, line a strainer with a jelly bag (or can also use cheese cloth which tends to be very messy) and set over a medium size bowl.
Pour heated milk mixture into jelly bag and strainer.
Curds will remain in jelly bag and the whey will fall through the bag to the bowl. Doesn’t “Little Miss Muffet Sat on a Tuffet Eating Her Curds and Whey” come to mind?! After all those years, you will now know what curds and whey are.
After the majority of the liquid has been strained, twist the top of the bag and squeeze out air and any remaining liquid. Be careful, the liquid is hot.
Reverse the jelly bag inside out and place ricotta mixture into small bowl. Cover and place in refrigerator for up to a week. That is all there is to it!
Use the fresh ricotta accordingly in any recipe you choose. As most of you know, ricotta is great in lasagna but it is also wonderful on pizza or as a pasta sauce along with roasted garlic.
Can you believe it was that easy! Every time I make it, it always surprises me that I spent forty years of my life, traipsing through the store trying to find the all too often hidden Ricotta Cheese section. Fear not, you can now do it yourself.
Hope you enjoy,