Homemade ricotta cheese isn't like the ricotta you find at the grocery store. Homemade ricotta cheese is light and fluffy, not watery, creamy with an amazing texture. The first time you taste it you'll know what just happened. You made incredible homemade ricotta cheese, and I bet you do it again and again.
Do you think you've made your best homemade lasagna ever? Cheesecake yet?
Wait until you make your own ricotta cheese, then your masterpiece will be finished. So Good!
Tips For Selecting The Best Ingredients
Buy whole milk. Using skim or low-fat milk defeats the most important qualities of the cheese. The cheese is mostly protein & fat. Selecting high-quality milk is KEY to success.
When selecting the milk, look for milk that does not say “Ultra-Pasteurized” on the carton. Yes, even high-end fancy milk will have this on the carton somewhere. NOTE: I have been able to make great ricotta cheese with Ultra-Pasteurized milk. It is considered old world best practice to use whole milk that would not be Ultra-Pasteurized.
Tested Ultra-Pasteurized Milk So You Could See The Results
- In this very post & video, I used Ultra Processed Milk – Turned out GREAT
- I used “Half & Half” Milk (Best results use Heavy Cream)
Easy Homemade Ricotta Cheese Ingredients
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Easy Homemade Ricotta Cheese
- 8 cups Whole Milk / No NOT use Low-Fat
- 16 ounce Heavy Cream / Half & Half Will Work
- 2 Lemons / Juiced
- 2 tsp Kosher Salt
Making Easy Homemade Ricotta Cheese
- Using a large pot, add the 8 cups of Whole Milk, along with the heavy cream & salt
- Using a candy thermometer, SLOWLY bring the temperature up to 190 degrees. (about 10 to 15 minutes)WARNING: The key to success is bringing the temperature up to 190 slowly. DO NOT at any point allow the milk to boil. Be mindful of the bottom of your pot, do not allow the milk to scorch. Use a spatula to stir.
- The idea is to be gentle with the protein and fat in the milk. The slow warming process allows the fat to separate/coagulate. Creating curds ( the cheese) & they Whey (the leftover liquid)
- While the milk is coming to 190 degrees add in the salt. Add the salt asap.
- Once @ 190 degrees stir in the 2 whole lemons - juiceStir for 60 seconds. You'll start to see the milk thicken. 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.
- After 15+ minutes, pour through cheesecloth. You'll need to drain off the whey. Do not allow the curds (cheese) to sit in the whey. Once the whey level starts to touch the cheese, drain off the whey. Continue until all whey is gone and only the curd is left.
How To Shape & Store The Cheese
- Using plastic wrap. Layout the curds and roll them into the shape you want. This is your one chance to shape the cheese to your desire. Think about the presentation of your ricotta cheese when you slice and serve.
- Storage: Refrigerate, wrapped in plastic wrap
- It will last around 1 ½ week. Over the days the cheese will shrink a very small amount due to the frigid air in the refrigerator.
- Set up the ricotta cheese overnight for a solid form cheese.
Ultra-high-temperature milk processing
Ultra-high temperature processing (UHT), ultra-heat treatment, or ultra-pasteurization is a food processing technology that sterilizes liquid food, chiefly milk, by heating it above 135 °C (275 °F) – the temperature required to kill spores in milk – for 2 to 5 seconds. UHT is most commonly used in milk production, but the process is also used for fruit juices, cream, soy milk, yogurt, wine, soups, honey, and stews. UHT milk was first developed in the 1960s and became generally available for consumption in the 1970s.
The heat used during the UHT process can cause Maillard browning and change the taste and smell of dairy products. An alternative process is HTST pasteurization (high temperature/short time), in which the milk is heated to 72 °C (162 °F) for at least 15 seconds.
UHT milk packaged in a sterile container, if not opened, has a typical unrefrigerated shelf life of six to nine months. In contrast, HTST pasteurized milk has a shelf life of about two weeks from processing, or about one week from being put on sale. A significant percentage of milk sold in the US as organic food is UHT treated.