Once you've tasted the milky freshness of your own ricotta, you'll find you can't get enough of it!
Close-up of hands holding a ball of ricotta cheese in a cheesecloth
- Large pot
- Slotted Spoon
- Airtight container for storage
- 16 cups (4 L) whole milk (3.25% MF)
- 1/3 cup (80 mL) lemon juice
- salt to taste (optional)
- Gradually heat the milk in a large pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it reaches between 85º to 90 ºC. This should take 20-25 minutes if starting with cold milk.
- Once the milk reaches the correct temperature, gently stir in the lemon juice, remove the pot from the heat, and cover it with a lid. Let sit for 20-25 minutes without disturbing the mixture.
- Meanwhile, prepare a strainer by lining it with a double layer of cheesecloth, and setting it over a large bowl.
- After 20-25 minutes, the milk and lemon juice mixture will have separated, and cheese curds will have formed.
- Gently ladle the curds into the strainer to drain.
- Let the curds drain for at least 1 hour over a large bowl. The longer you drain them, the drier the ricotta will be. The liquid leftover from draining the cheese is called whey, and can be used in a variety ways.
- For a savoury ricotta, add salt to taste. Leave it as is to use the ricotta in sweet recipes.
- When completely cool, transfer the ricotta to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.