Homemade Ricotta Cheese is special compared to what you will find at the grocery store. Making fresh ricotta cheese turns out light and fluffy, not watery like the grocery store stuff, yet creamy with a fantastic texture.
The first time you taste ricotta cheese, homemade, you'll know what just happened. You made an incredible homemade cheese.
Let me show you how to use ultra-pasteurized milk or ultra-high-temperature processed milk (UHT) to make ricotta cheese.
Do you feel like you've made your best homemade lasagna ever? Cheesecake possibility?
Wait until you make your own ricotta cheese, then your masterpiece will be completed. So Good!
⬇️ Table of Contents
Whole Milk -Using skim or low-fat milk defeats the most important property of making cheese: the fat. The cheese is mostly protein & fat. Selecting high-quality whole milk is the KEY to success.
Types of Milk:
- Ultra-Pasteurized Milk - Easiest to find at the grocery store (what I used for the recipe)
- Pasteurized Whole Milk - is harder to find; try grocery stores like Whole Foods or Central Market.
- Goat's Milk
- Sheep's Milk
- Farm-fresh, unpasteurized Raw Milk is a popular option for making the highest quality cheese in Europe. Safety Note: the FDA does not support the use of raw milk.
Heavy cream is the key ingredient to making thick and creamy ricotta cheese. The word heavy in heavy cream relates to the actual weight. Heavy cream has more fat than whole milk. Cheese is made from the fats of milk.
Lemon Juice - the acidity from the lemon juice, once added, will start the process of removing the curds from the whey. This process is called curdling. Without the addition of an acid to the whole milk, cheese-making is not possible.
Kosher Salt - the salt brings out the flavor. You can substitute it with sea salt. I suggest not using table salt as it is very salty in taste.
Watch How To Make
🧀 How To Make Ricotta Cheese
To start, measure out 8 cups of whole milk. I used Ultra-Milk.
Measure out 2 cups of Half & Half, or best, use Heavy Cream.
I used half & half this time to see what would happen. It worked very nicely.
- Labels: Ultra-high temperature processing/processed milk (UHT) is another label for ultra-pasteurized milk.
I tested making ricotta cheese using Ultra-Pasteurized milk so you could see the results. Works great!
Place a large pot on the stovetop and turn the heat to medium.
Add the 8 cups of whole milk and the 2 cups of half & half or heavy cream.
Heat the milk to the temperature of 190 degrees. The key is to do this slowly.
If the milk is heated too quickly, it will become scalded milk. This is not what we want and will require starting over.
Add two teaspoons of kosher salt or sea salt. Please do not use table salt as it is too salty. ✅
Once the salt has melted, it is time to begin the ricotta cheese-making process. The process of coagulation.
Add the juice of two lemons or 6 Tablespoons.
The addition of an acid like vinegar or citrus causes the effect of separating the curds (cheese) from the whey (liquid). Making this a great kitchen science project for kids to experience.
Take note in the photo above that the milk is beginning to thicken.
- Turn off the heat once the lemon juice is added
- Cover with a lid
- Wait 15 minutes for the coagulation process to complete. You can go longer.
Use a large bowl with a strainer covered with cheesecloth to drain off all of the whey.
Once the majority of the whey has been removed, move the strainer to a fresh bowl. Allow it to drip a while longer, removing the remaining whey.
To create a nice presentation 🖼️, lay out plastic wrap and add the ricotta cheese from the cheesecloth on top. The ricotta cheese is beautiful, creamy, and has a great texture.
It will be even better tomorrow after setting up in the refrigerator overnight.
Ricotta cheese is shaped into a log. Tip: This does not need to be perfect. ⬇️
🥛 Ultra-High-Temperature Milk Processing
UHT milk was first developed in the 1960s and has become increasingly popular in recent years. It is now the most common type of milk sold in Europe and other parts of the world, where refrigeration is not always available or reliable. UHT milk makes up about 30 percent of the milk sold in the United States.
UHT milk is generally made from whole milk, but it can also be made from skim milk or other types of milk. The fat content of UHT milk can vary depending on the type of milk that is used.
-UHT processing is a food processing technology used to sterilize liquid food, chiefly milk.
- The temperature required to kill spores in milk for manufacturing is 135 °C (275 °F), and this process typically lasts 2 to 5 seconds.
- UHT milk has a shelf life of 6-9 months and does not require refrigeration until after it has been opened.
- UHT processing can also extend the shelf life of other liquid foods, such as fruit juices, cream, soup, and tomato sauce.
💭 Ricotta Cheese Faqs
Types of Coagulation Substitutes
- White Wine Vinegar
- White Vinegar
- Lemon Juice
- Citrus from fruits. Note: it will take on the flavor profile to some degree.
Can Ricotta Cheese Be Frozen?
Recipes Ideas - Add Ricotta Cheese
Is Ricotta Cheese Keto?
Ricotta Cheese is made from the curds of whole milk, which makes it keto.
📋 carbohydrates - ¼ cup (4.42grams)
Glycemic Index - "27" - the low end of the scale. Having a very low effect on blood sugar levels.
How To Make Ricotta Cheese 🧀 Ultra-Pasteurized Method
- 8 cups Whole Milk Low-Fat milk will not work
- 2 cups Heavy Cream Half & Half - substitute option
- 6 Tablespoon Lemon Juice Juice of 2 lemons
- 2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
Making Ricotta Cheese
- Add 8 cups of whole milk and 2 cups of heavy cream using a large pot. Plus, the two teaspoons of salt.
Heating The Milk
- Using a candy thermometer, SLOWLY bring the temperature up to 190 degrees. (about 10 minutes).Make sure the milk never gets to a boil. Be mindful of the bottom of the pot, and do not allow the milk to become scorched. Use a spatula to stir and scrape the bottom during the heating.
- The idea is to be gentle with the protein and fats in the milk. The slow heating process allows the fats and proteins to loosen up. Once an acid is applied to the lemon juice, the coagulation starts.
- Once 190 degrees is reached, stir in the 6 Tablespoons of lemon juice. Stir to combine. You'll start to see the milk begin to thicken quickly. This is the coagulation process happening. You're making cheese!!!
- Cover the pot with the heat off and allow it to coagulate for 15+ minutes.
- As the acid does the work. The curds and whey will begin to separate. Thick pockets of curds will begin to form.After 15+ minutes:Pour through cheesecloth. Drain off all of the whey (liquid) from the curds(cheese). Do not allow the curds (cheese) to sit in the whey (liquid) for any amount of time. Once the whey level starts touching the cheesecloth's bottom, drain off the whey. Continue until all whey is gone and only the curd is left.
How To Shape The Ricotta Cheese
- Take a large piece of plastic wrap. Layout the curds on top in a long log shape.Roll into shape and twist the ends.
How To Store Ricotta Cheese
- Refrigerate and wrap in plastic wrap to set up.Before storage, it is your one chance to shape the ricotta.Fresh ricotta cheese will last 1 week, plus in the refrigerator. Over the days, the cheese will shrink a very small amount due to the frigid air in the refrigerator, causing dehydration.
- Start with whole milk close to room temperature, this will reduce the time to get finished ricotta cheese.
- The amount of lemon juice, if, after 5 minutes, the curds and whey aren't separating enough, you can add extra lemon juice.
- Serving the cheese - the texture is best when served cold.
- Fresh ricotta cheese lasts around 2 plus weeks in the refrigerator.