You can get ricotta cheese in the store, but as usual, homemade food is far better than the storebought products. What are we waiting for? Let’s make some ricotta cheese, perfect for when you need some for pizzas!
By making it homemade, you will be able to control how moist it will be. There’s a specific part of the process here — the amount of time you let the cheese drip and drain. The more you leave it, the thicker it will be. It’s up to your taste! You also will have the option to add it other ingredients at the end, such as for example herbs or garlic. The sky is the limit!
What’s important when making ricotta cheese is to select well what you will use to curdle it. You need an acid — usually vinegar or lemon juice are used for this purpose. In this recipe we will use lemon juice, but if you’d like something more neutral, vinegar or even citric acid will work. Usually you also need to use cheesecloth to drain the cheese — that’s a specialized tool meant for this task, after all! But if you don’t have any, a wet paper towel may help. It won’t be the same, but it will help. We recommend you obtain a cheesecloth for this recipe.
Generally, homemade ricotta cheese will last only a couple days before starting to get sour, so make sure to use it as soon as possible.
- 4 cups whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp any herbs you want to use (tbsp each one) thyme, basil, or parsley are popular choices
- Place a sieve, strainer, or colander over a large bowl, and line it with a damp cheesecloth or a damp paper towerl.
- Mix the milk, the cream, and the salt in a pot, and put it all on the stove. You must let it heat up — but make sure not to let it spill. As soon as it starts boiling, turn the heat off and take the pot off the stove.
- Add the lemon juice into the pot, and let it all rest for ten minutes. You need to give time for the milk to curdle.
- Pour the milk onto the colander with the cheesecloth — make sure not to spill any of it! The curds are going to stay on the cheesecloth, while the whey is deposited into the bowl.
- Let the homemade ricotta drain. The longer you leave it alone, the thicker it will be. Generally, twenty minutes is enough to get a nice consistency.
- Once the ricotta has the consistency you desire, put it in a plate or another bowl, and mix into it any herbs you want to use.