Whole milk, lemon and salt are the only ingredients that you need to make a batch of Homemade Ricotta Cheese. This cheese is soft, creamy and absolutely delicious. Add it to some pasta, on toast or even eat it plain with a sprinkle of salt, olive oil and basil.
Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 20 minutes
- 8 cups whole milk (equivalent to half a gallon)
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
Add the milk to a large, heavy-bottomed pot and place it over medium-high heat. Stir the milk using a wooden spoon until the milk comes to a simmer. You should stir the milk every 15 seconds or so to prevent the milk from scorching/burning on the bottom of the pot. The milk should take about 10-12 minutes to fully heat.
Once the milk is hot, steaming and is at a light simmer, add the salt and stir to combine. Next, add the lemon juice and stir. In just a few seconds, you will see the milk begin to curdle and separate. The curds will float on top of the mixture and the whey (the liquid) will turn a light yellow colour.
Turn off the heat and let the mixture stand for 2 minutes. In the meantime, line a colander with 4 layers of cheesecloth and place it in a large bowl, or directly in the sink to drain the whey.
Use a slotted spoon to scoop the white curds out of the pot and place it in the colander lined with cheesecloth. Alternatively, you can slowly dump the contents of the pot into the colander.
Let the curds drain for 5 minutes, or until the whey has mostly drained away. Gently fold the cheesecloth over the top of the curds, keeping them still in the colander, and place it in a small bowl to catch any excess whey. Place it in the fridge for at least 2 hours to drain and cool.
After 2 hours, remove the curds from the cheesecloth and place the finished cheese in a bowl. Use the ricotta in any recipe that you want!
The ricotta will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge, but the sooner you use it, the better it is!