Have you ever made your own ricotta? You’ll be amazed at how easy making ricotta is!
In fact – you may never want to buy ricotta again.
I make this from scratch whenever I do a pasta dinner for clients. I’ll come to your house and make three different types of doughs and three different fillings with sauces and toppings and the whole gambit!
It’s quite the party and quite a bit of food – as you can imagine. If you’re curious about hosting your own event like this, or doing one with me virtually reach out to my e-mail via the contact form. I’d love to hear from you!
The Ricotta Ratio
So ricotta is more of a ratio than a recipe – which actually makes it really easy to scale. Traditionally, it’s 2 quarts of whole milk to 1 cup of heavy cream, and 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice. If you are looking for a thicker, dryer curd, use 1.5 cups of heavy cream to 2 quarts whole milk. Because the heavy cream has more fat, there will more cheese left, and it will be dryer and denser than if just using the 1 cup. This is great for if you are planning on using the ricotta for a pasta filling when you need minimal moisture.
Other than salt, that’s it! It’s just 4 ingredients! Can you believe it?
Even better – can you believe the possibilities of flavoring it if you wanted to?!
For the ricotta in this flavor, I first infused the milk and heavy cream with corn kernals and the cobbs. I also added in some chopped black pepper. I just brought the milk and cream up to a simmer for about 5 minutes and then turned the heat off and let the liquid cool off at room temperature. Once it was cool (about 1 hour) I strained it and put the milk and cream back on the heat.
Then you bring that up to a boil, and add in the lemon juice and salt. Turn off the heat immediately, and don’t stir too much, and you’ll begin to see little clumps of cheese form! Wait about 3-5 minutes and then strain your liquid through cheesecloth set on top of a strainer. If you can, put the straining cheese into the fridge while it strains. If you can’t, simply let it strain most of the liquid (about 2 hours) and then put in a smaller bowl with a smaller strainer to continue straining over night.
Technically, your cheese can be ready in as few as 3 hours, but it will be fairly soft and have some liquid in it. If you’re using this as a dip or sauce, that may be just fine! However, if you need a more firm or dry consistency, then try to let it drain as much as possible.
So those are all the tips – now it’s your turn to try your hand at it! Try it plain first, and then experiment with adding flavor to the milk. I’d love to see what you come up with!
Thick Homemade Ricotta
Yields about 2 Cups. Active Time: 10 minutes; Total Time: 3 Hours
2 Quarts of Whole Milk
1.5 Cups of Heavy Cream
1/2 tsp Salt
3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- Combine the salt, milk and cream together in a pot and bring to a boil.
- Turn off heat and add lemon juice. Stir once around the pot and then let sit for 3-5 minutes until curds form.
- Pour into a strainer lined with cheesecloth to strain for at least 3 hours, or overnight. Pack in an airtight container for up to 7 days. Keep refrigerated.