- 2 litres of Whole milk (3.25% milk fat).
- ½ Teaspoon of A.GENCO Fine Sea Salt.
- 3 Tablespoons of Fresh Lemon Juice. (Do not use Meyer Lemons).
- Large fine colander
- Cheesecloth or dish towel
- A large bowl
- Heavy bottom saucepan with a lid
- A wooden spoon
- A slotted ladle
How to Make Ricotta Cheese
- Begin by lining a colander with a large piece of lightly dampened cheesecloth (or dish towel) that has been folded over itself at least 3-4 times. If using a dish towel, you will not need to fold it if it has a fine weave.
- Place the lined colander over a large bowl. Make sure to use non-reactive materials like plastic or ceramic. Set it aside while we begin to make the ricotta cheese from scratch
- You are now ready to combine both the milk and salt in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan.
- Over medium heat, bring the temperature of the milk to 185°F (85°C), stirring the mixture occasionally with a wooden spoon.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the lemon juice. You will notice that the mixture will immediately begin to curdle. If it does not curdle, add another tablespoon of lemon juice as your lemon juice did not have enough acidity to curdle the milk. Continue to gently stir the mixture about for 2 minutes.
- Carefully remove the heavy bottom saucepan from the heat. Cover with a lid and let it stand for about 20 minutes.
- After the 20 minutes. Remove the lid from the saucepan and carefully ladle your ricotta into the cheesecloth-lined colander. Your bowl will collect the whey (liquid).
At this point, you have a decision to make. The consistency of the final product will depend on the amount of time you leave the mixture to drain.
- For a firmer ricotta. Allow the cheese to drain for at least 20 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator. For a softer more spreadable cheese, 3-5 minutes is more than enough time to obtain a creamy consistency.
- Replace the lemon juice with an equal amount of white vinegar.
Reduce the draining time for a creamier consistency.
- Use a heavier fat milk (cream) from a richer and creamier cheese.
This cannot be made with ultra-pasteurized milk…so, check your labels when buying.
- Use fresh ricotta immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.