Fresh Ricotta Cheese

My pal Liz over at That Skinny Chick Can Bake made ricotta one day to put into a cheesecake. The only thing going through my head – over and over again, I might add – was ‘ I need to do this!’ Liz believes the original recipe came from Making Great Cheeses at Home. I am going to try and take it out from the library to see if that’s the book.

I made this recipe specifically for a recipe I was dying to try – Stuffed Shells Bolognese – absolutely fantastic – and greedily ate the rest with fresh strawberries for breakfast.

Truthfully, I may NEVER buy ricotta in a plastic tub again! 

  • 1/2 gallon whole milk
  • 1 C heavy cream
  • 7 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 t salt

Combine ingredients in a large saucepan. Heat over a medium low flame for 45 to 50 minutes until it reaches 165-170º. Stir a couple of times during heating to avoid sticking.

NOTE: I stirred every 15 minutes. With each stir the curds became bigger and thicker.

Once it’s reached 165-170º, increase heat and cook until the temperature reaches 200-205 in the center and edges. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let rest 15 minutes.

Line a colander with a double layer of damp cheesecloth. Pour into colander. Drain 20 minutes. Makes approximately 16 oz.

NOTE: The freshness and taste of this is unequaled. It is really cool to watch the liquids turn into curds. I taped the cheesecloth to the outside of the colander so that it didn’t slide into the colander and make a mess. My end result was about 2 cups total, though you would be hard pressed to tell as my spoon kept going back for a taste, a taste a taste.