queso chronicles: homemade ricotta

Posted on April 5, 2011

You all might remember my trials and tribulations in the mozzarella realm. Well, after some deliberation, I decided my faint heart could not handle another mozzarella failure and that I should try to make an easier cheese. Ricotta is probably the easiest cheese to make (according to cheesemakers on the internet) and recently I found a new recipe on a great blog called I Made That. I followed her directions and ended up with a perfect ricotta. No tears or wasted milk!

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

6 cups whole milk
2 cups cultured buttermilk
1 1/2 cups cream
1 T salt

Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Over medium heat, heat until curds begin to form, stirring gently. After the curds form, turn off the heat and let it sit for 30 minutes. Put two layers of cheesecloth in a strainer. Strain cheese until it has reached your desired consistency. I let it sit for about an hour. Transfer cheese into a tupper and refrigerate. When you pull your cheese out the next day, there may be some residual whey. Just pour that off and continue eating and cooking with your delicious fresh cheese!

Making ricotta from scratch is not any cheaper than buying it at the grocery store, but it is much more flavorful. I’ve found that many store-bought ricottas taste like nothing and often have a grainy texture. The milk flavor is very prominent in this homemade cheese and the texture is smooth and creamy. Yum!

-Emily