The first time I made this I swore I would never buy ricotta cheese again.
Butttttt, that changed. While it is super delicious to have homemade ricotta, it does use a whole gallon of milk and cup of cream and only makes about 3 cups of ricotta cheese. I now understand why it is so expensive at the grocery store.
It’s still definitely worth it to make this at home once and a while. It is super creamy and fresh, especially if you are able to use local grass-fed milk, like the milk shown from Fish Family Farms, here in Bolton.
It made delicious zucchini lasagna, but is also great for tossing with pasta, or topping on crackers with some fig jam. In my book, you just can’t really go wrong with ricotta cheese.
The ingredients pictured above are all you need! Here goes….
First you just need to heat the milk and heavy cream in a large heavy bottom pot util it’s 185 degrees. I like the Le Creusets I got at Home Goods for like a quarter of their regular price. A candy thermometer helps, but basically it should be hot, but not boiling!
Once it’s reached temp, stir in the lemon juice and salt. IT’S CURDLE TIME!
Let it cool for a little bit and then strain. A lot of places say to strain through cheesecloth, but it’s not really necessary if you have a fine mesh strainer. Less wasteful, works great, and you don’t have to hold it. Now just let it sit in the strainer for a while, the longer it sits, the more moisture will seep out. Ew, seep.
Then you have beautiful, magical ricotta cheese. I ate a lot of it with a spoon.
Kinda overflowing here. This is after I mixed it up with herbs for the lasagna.
- Half-gallon whole milk (aka 8 cups)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Juice from a whole lemon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Heat the whole milk and heavy cream in a heavy bottomed sauce pan until it reaches 185 degrees. DO NOT BOIL.
- Stir in the lemon juice and salt and let cool.
- After it curdles, strain using a mesh strainer or cheese cloth.
- Continue straining until most of the moisture has left.
- Store in an airtight container, or eat right away!