I know, cheesy title. HAHAHA. Ok, I’m done, I promise
But for reals. Have you ever made home made ricotta?! I am new to it and it is a GAME CHANGER.
It’s super easy, really versatile and even the by-products have their uses! I use the liquid whey that’s left behind in my pancakes and my kids gobble them up like crazy. They have no clue. And neither would I if you didn’t tell me.
And you can make the traditional savory ricotta you typically find in baked pastas like lasagna or a baked ziti or what have you. All you need is:
½ Gal whole milk (preferably whole, preferably not UHT pasteurized
1/3 C Lemon Juice (about 1-2 lemons)
OR 1/3 C distilled white vinegar
1 tsp salt
1. Warm the milk to about 200*F. Warm the milk SLOWLY. It’s important- you don’t want to boil the milk and you don’t want it to burn. If you don’t have a thermometer, 200*F is when it starts to get kind of foamy at the top.
2. Remove the milk from the heat and add the vinegar or lemon juice. I LOVE it with lemon juice… it adds a bit of tangy freshness, but isn’t overwhelming. Stir it really gently then let it sit for about 10 minutes.
3. With a slotted spoon scoop out the big curds and then just line a strainer with cheesecloth and put it over a half gallon glass ball jar. Then just dump the warm milk/curd/liquid whey mixture over it and let the strainer drain for around10-40 minutes. Then just transfer the ricotta in the cheese cloth to a container or use it immediately when its nice and warm. Mmmmm warm non-melty cheese just really hits the spot sometimes.
OH!- and SAVE THE WHEY! Some people drink it, but I just save it and use it in smoothies or pancakes etc. Here are some ideas: pancakes,
You can also make a slightly sweeter ricotta using the juice of an orange instead of a lemon! Same amounts, it’s just slightly sweeter. I eat this for breakfast a lot and add fruits, jams, or make delicious parfaits with yogurt and frut. SO SO SO good. Or you can eat it warm and add a warm fruit compote or FIGS or sautéed or grilled peaches. OMG I’m drooling already. What are you waiting for?! If I were you, I’d go and make some! I know I am.