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Housemade Ricotta


When I told a friend I was trying to make my own ricotta, she responded:

“Leave a cup of milk in your fridge for 90 days and BOOM!  Ricotta cheese.” – Shanmei

So that is not really how one makes ricotta and I highly do not recommend trying it to see what happens…  Ricotta, which means “recooked” in Italian, is a cheese by-product that is traditionally made from whey, the liquid separated out from the curds when cheese is made.  Since most people don’t have easy access to cheese-making ingredients, there is an easier method to make fresh ricotta at home.

Here is another recipe contribution from Kei; it is important to use high quality milk as the ricotta will taste and smell like the milk it is made from.  Ricotta can be used as pasta fillings (lasagna) or as spreads.  I spread the ricotta over toasted bread and topped with Harissa Salsa to make bruschetta.

Housemade Ricotta (courtesy of Kei Kurobe)

Yields: 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 gal good quality whole milk
  • Juice of 4 lemons
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 T kosher salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Cheese cloth for straining

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients into a medium saucepan.  Place over medium heat.

Allow mixture to slowly come up to temperature.  Stir with whisk.  Once liquid is hot, curdles should start to form on top of the pot. Cook for 2 minutes.  Never allow the mixture to boil, or else you will end up with chewy cheese.

Strain liquid with a ladle onto cheese cloth and let residual liquid drip onto empty pan. Discard the liquid.

Leave the cheese in the cloth to cool in fridge.

Enjoy the ricotta with toasted bread, or even top with Harissa Salsa as bruschetta.

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