culinary review

Homemade Fresh Ricotta Cheese

Last Modified: 03/01/12
First Published: 03/01/12
Views: 1087
Views: 1087

Ricotta cheese has to be just about the easiest cheese to make. It is right up there with mozzarella or chevre in terms of speed and ingredients, but ricotta is even simpler because there are only two ingredients.

The other day someone in our household accidentally purchased skim milk...because people tend to go by colors more so than text. Suffice it to say we don't drink skim, but instead of throwing it away we decided to make some fresh ricotta cheese.

In our newly purchased All-Clad 4 Quart Pot we put the whole half gallon of skim and attached a frying thermometer. Any time you are heating milk on the stovetop you should becareful because it can easily boil over, so we turned the burner on medium-low. It takes quite a while at that level but it is less likely to get too hot too quick when it heats slowly.

The Italian word Ricotta means twice cooked because it is made from the leftover whey after mozzarella. Because we were using skim milk we just went right to ricotta and therefore bypassed the mozzarella stage.

We were looking for a temperature of 200° F, at that point we added about 1 fluid ounce of lemon juice.

After adding the lemon juice we ran our spider through the milk and watched as the curds were forming leaving the green whey. We did this for another minute or two and then drained away the whey into bowl. The curds were placed in a cheese choth to drain and then ricotta was basically left.

Mix the cheese with a little salt and pepper, drizzle a little quality olive oil and serve.

As a side note, the leftover whey was used as a replacement for the water in a rye bread we were also making.