Ricotta Cheese

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Ricotta Cheese

Watching the Food Network is a dangerous thing.  So many of the foods cooked on the shows make me want to try techniques that I haven't tried before.  I caught a few minutes of a Cooking Live Primetime show recently, and decided I'd try my hand at making some cheese.  Here are the results of my first foray into the world of cheese making.

Although ricotta cheese is pretty widely available around here, and not particularly expensive, I wanted to see just how the process worked.  One of my sisters is a cheese maker on a kibbutz in Israel, so now I have just a little more to talk with her about.

I used the following recipe from the FoodTV web site. It is from Clifford Wright's "The Mediterranean Feast"

The tough part was finding some goat's milk.  I eventually found some at a health food store.  The recipe calls for 2 cups, of the quart container, so I will figure out a use for the rest of the milk.  My guess is that the recipe would work just fine without the goat's milk, but I wanted to take the author's advice.

  • 4 quarts whole cow's milk
  • 2 cups goat's milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream (preferably not ultra pasteurized)
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Put both milks, the cream, and the lemon juice into a large non-reactive saucepan or stew pot. Turn the heat to low and bring to 194 degrees using a candy thermometer, making sure it does not touch the bottom or sides of the saucepan or pot. I used a Polder digital thermometer that was insulated from the metal handle of the pot by sticking it through an exhausted lemon half. It takes about 2 hours to reach 194 degrees.


Line strainer or small colander with cheese cloth. When curds form on the surface of the liquid, remove them with a skimmer or slotted spoon and transfer to the strainer. Increase the heat to medium and after 8 minutes, skim some more, until all the curds are removed and only milky liquid remains.

Tie up the ends of the cheesecloth to form a sack.  I hung up the curds to drain for 1 hour,  then transferred them to container and refrigerate. 

Fresh homemade ricotta will stay fresh for about 4 days in the refrigerator and may be used in recipes.

The recipe yields about 2.5 lbs of finished cheese.

We used this batch of cheese in some baked stuffed shells with sausage.  I'll post photos as soon as they are ready.

We are considering using home-made ricotta to fill some cannolis for a New Years day celebration.... stay tuned.


Copyright 1999 by Zenreich Systems. All rights reserved.
Revised: December 13, 2017 07:18 AM


All text and photographs copyright 1999 - 2017  Zenreich Systems. All rights reserved.