How to Make Ricotta with Milk and Lemon Juice

How to Make RicottaIf you want to learn how to make ricotta you will probably find that after reading this article “How to make ricotta” that it is much easier than you think.  Preparing it at home instead of buying it pre-made from your local grocery store gives you ultimate control over the ingredients, so you can make it to suit your taste and diet.  Despite what you may think the only ingredients involved in ricotta cheese is milk and lemon juice.  Combine that with 10 minutes or less of work and you’ll have your own ricotta to use in your favorite pasta, sauces and salads.

How to make ricotta only has a few different methods, but similar results are achieved.  The first method involves using the liquid left over from traditional cheese making, called whey, and another method deals with heating milk with buttermilk.  However, this how to make ricotta recipe simply calls for the addition of an acid, which usually is vinegar or lemon juice, with heated milk.  The ricotta is created by draining the mixture and collecting the curds.

For the purpose of this article, we will be dealing with the latter method using lemon juice.  I find that the lemon juice flavor brings out the best in the foods you would be pairing your ricotta with, but of course that is a matter of opinion.

Here is the simple recipe for how to make ricotta:

- 1 Litre of whole milk

- Half a cup of squeezed lemon juice

- A pinch of salt for seasoning

- Feel free to spice it up with your own twist!

Equipment needed:

- Colander

- Cheesecloth

Here is the method:

First, put the milk in a large pot and add medium heat.  Keep it over the heat until it is almost boiling.  It will start to foam before it reaches it’s boiling point, so take it off the heat at this point.  Add the lemon juice at this point and you should witness the milk beginning to curdle.  At this point you should stir the mixture very gently and avoid breaking the cheese curds that are forming.

Next you need to put your cheesecloth in your colander. If you don’t have a cheesecloth a non-terry dishcloth or a nylon stocking.  After you have got your cheesecloth or alternative in the colander, place it in the sink or a bowl larger than your colander.

By this time all the milk should have curdled.  Very carefully, pour the entire contents of the pot into the lined colander.  Leave in the colander for up to an hour depending on your preference for dryness of your cheese.  Some people take out some of the whey to use later if the ricotta becomes too dry.

Finally, take the formed cheese from the cheesecloth and scrape into a bowl.  At this point you will add your seasonings and the ricotta is ready to use.

There you go!  An easy recipe for how to make ricotta cheese.  The cheese is best used the day of, but can be refrigerated and used up to 4 days later.  If you plan on letting the cheese sit for a few days, make sure to have some whey on hand because the cheese will dry out as it sits.

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