photo by Cassandra Birocco
Making a batch of homemade ricotta is actually much easier than you might think. Because there are only a few ingredients, use the best quality milk and cream you can find. The longer you let the mixture drain, the thicker the ricotta will become.
- 1 quart (4 cups) whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Place a large sieve over a large glass bowl. Line sieve with 2 layers of cheesecloth. Set aside.
- Pour milk, cream and salt into a stainless steel or enameled pot (such as a Le Creuset.) Bring to a full boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent bottom from burning. Remove pot from heat and stir in lemon juice. Allow the mixture to stand for 5-10 minutes until mixture curdles (see cook's note.)
- Using a large spoon or ladle (not a slotted spoon), carefully transfer mixture into prepared sieve and allow to drain into bowl at room temperature for 30 minutes (ricotta will firm even more as it cools). Transfer ricotta to a bowl and discard cheesecloth. Discard liquid (or whey), or save it for another use. Cover ricotta and refrigerate until ready to use. Ricotta will keep for up to 3 days.
Makes approximately 2 cups.
cook's note: If mixture doesn't curdle when you add the lemon juice, add in a bit more, 1 tablespoon at a time.
ricotta + parmesan fritters with pesto from Donna Hay
lemon ricotta gnocchi with fresh peas from Sweet Paul
lemony ricotta dip
Combine zest and juice from 1 lemon, a pinch of red pepper flakes, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, and 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Stir and taste as desired. Serve with crackers for dipping.
leftover ricotta can also be:
stirred into scrambled eggs, served on top of spaghetti, or served on toasted bread slices with a drizzle of honey.