Fresh ricotta is a key ingredient and magnificent addition to any number of dishes, and making your own at home is so much easier than you’d think!
This gorgeous ricotta has only 3 ingredients and takes but 30 minutes to make! I promise you, the end result makes it time very well spent.
This recipe may not be considered a true ricotta cheese, as ricotta is often made with the whey left over from making cheese with a starter culture like rennet, where as this is made using whole milk. I could be described as a fresh Farmer’s cheese, but I think ricotta fits the bill nicely!
When juicing your lemons, I find ⅓ cup is the juice of 2 medium lemons. For your cheese cloth you need a piece large enough for it to be folded in quarters and still over-hang your sieve.
2L full cream milk
⅓ cup fresh juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
You will also need
a large piece of cheesecloth a fine, heatproof sieve
a heatproof bowl to strain the cheese over
a 750ml jar with a lid
1. Squeeze your lemon and measure out your salt ready to add to your milk once it’s heated. Place your sieve on top of your heatproof bowl and drape your cheesecloth into your sieve.
2. Add your milk to a large saucepan and put it on a medium-low heat to warm slowly to 95°C (200°F). This will take around 10 minutes but you need to be on stand by to stir the milk and check the temperature regularly, you don’t want to over heat the milk or let it scold on the bottom of the saucepan.
3. Once the milk reaches temperature remove the saucepan from the heat and add the salt and lemon in together, stir gently to combine. At this point it is very important to keep stirring to a minimum, too much stirring here will give you rubbery, rather than soft and smooth, ricotta. Once the lemon juice ans salt has been added, leave the mixture to sit for 10 minutes. This is how your ricotta forms, you will see clumps of white curds forming, separating from the watery, yellow whey.
4. After 10 minutes pour your mixture into your cheesecloth and sieve. While straining your ricotta from your whey, you want to reserve 2 cups of the whey, but you don’t need to keep it all, you also need to make sure there is enough room in your bowl for your ricotta to drain properly. Leave your ricotta to drain for 15 minutes to an hour depending on how dry and firm you want it. I like to leave it for an hour.
5. Meanwhile, sterilise your jar. Wash and rinse it in warm soapy water and place upside down in an oven heated to 200°C until dry. Remove and allow to cool until it can be safely handled.
5. Once your ricotta has finished draining put your curds into your jar and top up to the brim with whey. Close the lid tight and store for up to 5 days.