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Once you've tasted the milky freshness of your own ricotta, you'll find you can't get enough of it!

Yield:
1 litre
Prep time:
up to 4 hours for cooking, draining and chilling
Cook time:
20-25 minutes
Photo of Make Your Own Ricotta

Recipe by BC Dairy Association

Close-up of hands holding a ball of ricotta cheese in a cheesecloth

Equipment

  • Large pot
  • Thermometer
  • Strainer
  • Cheesecloth
  • Slotted Spoon
  • Airtight container for storage

Ingredients

  • 16 cups (4 L) milk
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) lemon juice
  • salt to taste (optional)

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare a strainer by lining it with a double layer of cheesecloth, and setting it over a large bowl.
  4. After 20-25 minutes, the milk and lemon juice mixture will have separated, and cheese curds will have formed.
  5. Gently ladle the curds into the strainer to drain.
  6. 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.  
  7. For a savoury ricotta, add salt to taste. Leave it as is to use the ricotta in sweet recipes.
  8. When completely cool, transfer the ricotta to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Want more tasty ideas on how to use your fresh, homemade ricotta? Check out these awesome recipes on our website!

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