Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Homemade Ricotta Cheese


The only disappointing thing about making this recipe, was not knowing all these years how simple it was to make my own cheese. And, ricotta cheese at that.
I would be hard pressed to choose a favorite variety of cheese, 'cuz I love 'em all. But, ricotta has always been near the top of that favorite list.
Recently, I have discovered a new way to enjoy it, which is for breakfast, spread on toast with salt & pepper. It has about a 1/4 the amount of calories, per ounce, of butter. Plus, it's loaded with protein. It's great in many classic Italian dishes, such as stuffed shells, baked ziti or lasagne. It's also amazing on pizza.
I have been buying the store bought variety. But, now that I know how simple & delicious it is to make my own, I know I'll be making it a lot.

Begin by lining a colander with 4 layers of cheesecloth, leaving some overhang. Add 8 cups of whole milk & 2 cups of buttermilk to a medium stockpot. Attach a deep fry, or candy thermometer to the edge of the pot.

Place the pot over high heat, and while stirring frequently, heat until small clumps {curds} begin to form. When the thermometer reaches 175-180 degrees,

the curd will separate from the whey & float to the top of the pot. Remove the pot from the heat.

Using a slotted spoon, or skimmer, transfer the curds to the cheesecloth lined colander. Gather the chessecloth around the ricotta, to release some of the liquid. Don't squeeze it, or the cheese will dry out too much.

Leave the cheese in the colander & let it rest for 20 minutes.
Transfer the ricotta to a bowl, season lightly with salt & mix gently.


Cover & chill until ready to use.

Note: If you don't own a candy thermometer, this recipe can be made without it. You will know when it's ready because the curds with separate completely from the whey.

Ricotta Cheese

From Bon App├ętit, April 2010
Makes about 2 cups

8 cups whole milk
2 cups buttermilk

Line a colander with 4 layers of cheesecloth, leaving some overhang. Add the milk & buttermilk to a medium stockpot. Attach a deep fry, or candy thermometer to the edge of the pot. Place the pot over high heat, and while stirring frequently, heat until small clumps {curds} begin to form. When the thermometer reaches 175-180 degrees, the curd with separate from the whey & float to the top of the pot. Remove the pot from the heat.
Using a slotted spoon, or skimmer, transfer the curds to the cheesecloth lined colander. Gather the chessecloth around the ricotta, to release some of the liquid. Don't squeeze it, or the cheese will dry out too much. Leave the cheese in the colander & let it rest for 20 minutes.
Transfer the ricotta to a bowl, season lightly with salt & mix gently. Cover & chill until ready to use.
Click here for the printable recipe.

8 comments:

laurie said...

I just posted a recipe on my blog using ricotta... If I would have known I could have made it so simply myself.. I would have..Thanks for the post I will definately make my own the next time I use ricotta in a recipe!!

Leslie said...

Next time I'm up at Dana's I'll bring some raw milk back for you. Last year we made ricotta, it was awesome! Thanks for reminding me that it's time to make another batch.

kate said...

Leslie~I would love that!

kate said...

Laurie~Your lasagne rolls look delicious. This ricotta would be perfect for that recipe!
~kate

Karen said...

I made some ricotta a while back and I agree with you - it's so easy that it's ridiculous to buy the stuff anymore! I'll have to make some more and try it for breakfast!

suzybananas said...

I can not believe you are making your own cheese! What's next?

M. said...

I would love to make my own ricotta, you make it sound so easy.... :)

Carol said...

Hi Kate,

I discovered your recipes through Tasty Kitchen. I have learned to make my own feta cheese (using a recipe from Fine Cooking), and I love making my own cheese. This recipe is next! So glad you shared. Twinks

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