How to: Make your own – Ricotta Cheese

DSC_9742I think we can all agree. Cheese is a beautiful thing.

If you disagree, go away.

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I kid…

But do consider seeing a psychotherapist.

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Making cheese at home (we’ve done it before!) seems to really impress folks.  It’s one of the simplest recipes we’ve got going though.

3 ingredients, people!

Ricotta is a super mild, very slightly sweet fresh cheese.  My version is made by curdling hot milk with a little lemon juice.  Seriously. That, is it.

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That there is some curdled milk.  Otherwise known as cheese curds.  It’s just science.

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I have made ricotta many times, and the beauty of its mild flavour is the option to tweak it any way you like.  Once the cheese is strained to your liking, go on and gussy it up.

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For this batch I added ½ a lemon worth of zest for a little brightness.  Add some basil or any variety of herb for freshness.  Add lots of cracked black pepper for some bite. Add maple syrup or honey for sweetness.

Point is, be awesome with your ricotta.

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Ooh, here’s a crazy thing. I used lactose free milk for this particular batch and it worked perfectly.  I wanted to be able to consume the whole damn thing (if I so pleased) without um…abdominal discomfort.

In combo with perfectly ripe Ontario peaches, my homegrown rosemary and a drizzle of wildflower honey, trust me, it’s a good thing it was lactose free.

DSC_9744Enjoy,

Erin

Ricotta Cheese

Serves Makes about 1½ cups
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
Website Adapted from My Tasty Kitchen blog

Ingredients

  • 4 cups milk (2% or 3%)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea or kosher salt

Note

For a richer, creamier ricotta, substitute one cup of milk with 1 cup of half and half or heavy cream.

Directions

1. In a large heavy bottom sauce pan over medium heat, heat milk until it just begins to simmer around the edges (do not let it boil). The temperature on a thermometer would be 190F
2. Remove pan from heat right away, add lemon juice and stir once or twice. Allow to stand for 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile line a colander or strainer with 3 layers of cheesecloth.
4. In a sink, pour the cheese/whey mixture into the cheesecloth lined strainer. Allow to sit anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. The longer you wait, the firmer your ricotta will be.

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