Saturday, May 8, 2010


It looks like this is my "make everything from scratch" week. No, I'm not making my own cheddar yet. But Ricotta? Ricotta is easy, and so much better than what you can buy. Especially the stuff at Safeways in the plastic tubs, which has this rubbery consistency... Homemade, really fresh ricotta is very light, and I have to stop myself from just eating it straight from the bowl. Why not? Because it's great on pizza, or with fresh bread, a bit of honey, and my lavender salt.

So how to make this goodness?

For a cup, start with 1/2 gallon of milk. Yes, that's a lot of milk for a little cheese, but I guess that's why cheese is so expensive! I also add a bit of heavy cream if I have it available, I find that the ricotta gets a little smoother, but not that much... So if you want to skimp on calories leave the cream. Don't skimp on the milk, it's so much better with whole milk. Organic milk if you can afford it. Put it in a large pot, stir in a 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 1 teaspoons of salt. Heat over medium low heat while stirring slowly. Curdles will start forming.

When the mixture reaches 150 F stop stirring! Keep heating until the mixture reaches 175 F, take it off the stove, and ladle it into a strainer lined with 2 layers of cheese cloth.

Leave in there for 1 to 2 hours, depending on the consistency you want to achieve. I still have to try making ricotta salata out of it, which is the same ricotta, pressed into a form for further draining, and salted for preservation. If I would just manage to not eat it before!

Homemade Ricotta

1/2 gallon whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream, optional
1/4 cup lemon or lime juice
1 heaping teaspoons salt
Herbs such as thyme, rosemary, sage, optional

Mix all ingredients in a pot, put on medium low heat, stir slowly and carefully until it reaches 150 F, then leave it alone until it reaches 175 F. Ladle slowly and carefully in strainer lined with cheesecloth, then let drain for 1 - 2 hours.


  1. Mmmm, Silke, I love ricotta! I never knew it was so easy, I'm going to be sure to get whole milk and lemons on my next grocery run. Can't wait to try it :)

  2. Oh it's wonderful! You can also use distilled vinegar, but I like the lemon taste. I often put in some extra, just to get the extra taste. There are also people who used lemon juice and buttermilk, to get less acidic taste. I guess you'll have to experiment with how you like it the best.

  3. Hi Silke - It's Patrincia from Rose's blog!! When did you start your own blog? It's WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



  4. Thanks Patricia, and welcome. Just got back from a trip, and moving back into my kitchen. I hope I'll be back into cooking and baking mode by the weekend...

  5. I, too, love your blog, Silke! Jeannette.

  6. Silke, I made this today!

    It was incredibly delicious, much more complex and less watery than the brand I had been buying. I used pasteurized Jersey milk and my yield was about double what you've posted, 2 cups per half gallon of milk. It weighed just over 32 oz after draining.

    Which means not only does it taste good, but it can be made for about half the cost of store-bought organic. Yipee!

  7. Great! Must be your milk, I've made that a bunch of times and did only get a cup, at best a cup and a half from a half gallon. But yes, it's sooooo good! Would go extremely well in my grilled cheese sandwiches, but I'll have to work through my leftover cheeses first :-(

  8. I usually buy the organic ricotta from whole foods and it's pretty good. Can't wait to try this one. I've heard that ricotta is about the easiest cheese to make at home but never gotten around to trying it. You've encouraged me Silke! Will report on when I made it, :).