Making ricotta cheese at home couldn’t be easier – and you will be amazed at how much better fresh ricotta tastes. Roll your fresh made cheese in one of our herb blends for an instant appetizer.
1/2 gallon whole milk, not ultra-pasteurized
1/3 cup lemon juice (from 1 1/2 to 2 lemons), or 1/3 cup distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt, optional
Pour the milk into a 4-quart pot and set it over medium heat. Let it warm gradually to 200°F, monitoring the temperature with an instant read thermometer. The milk will get foamy and start to steam; remove it from heat if it starts to boil. Remove the milk from heat. Pour in the lemon juice or vinegar (or citric acid) and the salt. Stir gently to combine. Let the pot of milk sit undisturbed for 10 minutes. After this time, the milk should have separated into clumps of milky white curds and thin, watery, yellow-colored whey — dip a slotted spoon into the mix to check. If you still see a lot of un-separated milk, add another tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar and wait a few more minutes. Set a strainer over a bowl and line the strainer with cheese cloth. Scoop the big curds out of the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the strainer. Pour the remaining curds and the whey through the strainer. Let the ricotta drain for 10 to 60 minutes, depending on how wet or dry you prefer your ricotta. If the ricotta becomes too dry, you can also stir some of the whey back in before using or storing it.
Form into a log or ball and roll in the seasoning blend of your choice. Fresh ricotta can be used right away or refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.