September 8, 2017

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

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I'm sure you've heard of Ricotta cheese! This is a white and creamy fresh cheese that has a soft texture and slightly sweet flavors that make it a favorite for many. It's made of leftover whey from Mozzarella and Provolone, as Ricotta means "re-cooked."

There are tons of benefits the cheese has, including more calcium as compared to other cheeses. You can find Ricotta cheese in any supermarket near you, but there are times people would opt to make their own homemade Ricotta cheese, or can't find any available in the supermarket.

​Fortunately, there are various ways on how one can make homemade Ricotta cheese. And they are all easy to follow! So if you're wondering about how to make Ricotta cheese on your own, then read on as I talk about Ricotta cheese and the ways on how to make them.

Why You Need to Try Ricotta Cheese​ Today?

What can Ricotta cheese do for your dishes? Just like many types of cheeses around the world, many recipes focus on cheese, especially something that is slightly sweet and the right balance such as the Ricotta! But what exactly can you use it for?​

Here are six of my favorite ideas to do when I want to use Ricotta cheese:​

  • One of my favorite ways to use Ricotta cheese is by using it in lasagna for a very creamy base with a delicious combination of sweet and savory. I also love using it in various pasta, where I simply sprinkle a bit of it on top or mix it with my sauces for something thick and indulgent. 
  • If you've got chips on hand but no dip, then use Ricotta cheese with quality virgin olive oil and seasonings. Dip the crackers into the thick dip, and you have a burst of flavors that aren't only yummy, but healthy as well!
  • If you want a more delicious and fancy dip, a spinach dip is perfect with toasted bread. Simply mix it with Ricotta cheese and a bit of mayonnaise. Drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle your preferred seasonings, and you've got a new appetizer idea.
  • Instead of the usual scrambled eggs, I love adding a bit of milk and cheese to make it fluffier. Prepare soft scrambled eggs as you usually do then scoop a bit of Ricotta cheese on top of the finished eggs, along with chives and toast.
  • Want a healthy and delicious dessert? Grill any fruit you like (peaches and apples are best) and serve it with Ricotta cheese, granola, and a bit of honey to complete it.
  • Sure, you can top Ricotta cheese into any vegetable salad, but did you know that you can combine it with a fruit salad for a refreshing and nutritious meal? Toss the cheese with avocado, watermelon, and nuts or seeds and drizzle it with olive oil and your preferred seasonings. It's interesting with a crunch and still with a creamy consistency!

​Traditional Whey Ricotta vs. Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese

Like what I mentioned above, Ricotta is made out of leftover whey from making other types of cheeses. BUT, there are other easier ways on how to make Ricotta cheese, that doesn't involve whey (if you are allergic or have none in your supermarket). Instead of whey, we replace it with whole milk!

But what makes the traditional whey Ricotta different from the whole milk variety? Here are some of its comparisons to take note of:

  • What's great about making Ricotta made out of whole milk is because whey is hard to find. Plus, a home cheese maker will have a difficult time processing it, having you put more of an effort as compared to the liquid whole milk.
  • Because whole milk is creamy and sweet, it leaves a better flavor and texture as compared to whey. The latter is a bit bland and vaguely acidic, and the yield of making whey Ricotta is smaller.
  • But regarding calories, you are better off with whey, as it contains about 25 calories per 100 grams, as compared to the 175 calories in 100 grams of whole milk Ricotta cheese. Though you are getting a lot of vitamins and nutrients from the whole milk version, as it contains more calcium, vitamin A, iron, phosphorous, fat, and protein.
  • I would opt for whole milk and have the added calories, as it keeps me satiated even if used as a simple dip! But of course, if you would prefer making it with whey, then you are still getting quality cheese that anyone will enjoy, as long as you prepare it right. In this article, I'll be mentioning homemade Ricotta cheese recipes that focus on whole milk.

​I would opt for whole milk and have the added calories, as it keeps me satiated even if used as a simple dip! But of course, if you would prefer making it with whey, then you are still getting quality cheese that anyone will enjoy, as long as you prepare it right. In this article, I'll be mentioning homemade Ricotta cheese recipes that focus on whole milk.

My Homemade Ricotta Cheese Recipe​

Now that you know about the wonders of Ricotta cheese, here is an easy recipe of mine that uses the whole milk method for a quicker and hassle-free process. With the perfect texture and yield you can control, you’ll enjoy the creaminess and slightly sweet flavors that blend together with the tartness from the citrus or vinegar!

This recipe makes about two cups of Ricotta cheese, or eight servings.

Ingredients:​

  • Two quarts of whole milk
  • One cup of heavy cream
  • Half a teaspoon of salt
  • Three tablespoons of lemon juice
  • Special kitchen equipment: sieve and cheesecloth (fine-mesh)

​Steps to Follow:

1. Prepare the process of making cheese and line the large sieve with the cheesecloth. Put the sieve over a bowl big enough to fit it. Make sure they are sanitized before you do so!

2In a heavy pot, add the cream, salt, and the milk, slowly bringing it to a rolling boil at medium-heat. Make sure that you stir it occasionally to avoid it from burning or scorching. Add the lemon juice and allow it to simmer, reducing the heat and stirring it occasionally until the mixture begins to curdle. This will take around two minutes.

3Pour the mixture into the cheesecloth and sieve. Let it drain for about one hour then discard the liquid, allowing the Ricotta cheese (the solid curds) to chill. Cover the bowl while it chills, then store it in the refrigerator. And you’re done! Enjoy whenever you need to use it.

Do's and Dont's of Making Homemade Ricotta Cheese

But when making homemade Ricotta cheese, what are the things you should follow and avoid? Just like baking, there are various tips you can follow and common mistakes you must avoid. But not to worry if you do commit a mistake because you aren't alone! Just remember to take note of these quick tips to keep you right on track.

Common Mistakes

  • You Aren't Keeping It Clean
  • Do You Need Fresh Milk?
  • How To Store Ricotta Cheese?

Cheese is made out of good bacteria that eradicates harmful bacteria and spreads to make its texture and flavor. You can find bacteria in everything around your kitchen, and some of them may be bad and transfer into your cheese if you don't keep your workplace clean.

To avoid your cheese from containing harmful bacteria, then you need to keep your workplace clean and sanitized. You can do so by sanitizing all your equipment with hot water to rinse and wash before making cheese and to always clean after yourself.​

​Pro-Tips

  • Always Prepare: Before starting to make the cheese, have everything prepared and sterilized rather than to do it once you have to follow the step. Have all the utensils and ingredients ready and to read up on the recipe in advance, so you know what to do right after rather than waste time.
  • Storage: I recommend you to purchase a Ricotta basket and storage container for better storing of your cheese. The remaining whey or liquids from whole milk will drain from the cheese, preventing it from being soggy as it sits in your fridge.
  • Removing the Curds: Be sure to remove the larger curds when straining the cheese out, as it prevents the mixture from spilling out and making a mess. Let it drain for up to ten minutes to an house, depending on what texture you want. The longer you strain it, the drier it becomes. If your curds are too dry, stir in a bit of whole milk or whey back in.
  • Replacing Whole Milk: If you do not have whole milk, you can opt for 2%, though it will be a bit less rich and creamy. Do NOT use UHT pasteurized, skim, or nonfat milk, as the curds won't separate easily.

Five Homemade Ricotta Cheese Recipes Roundup

Now that you know all about homemade Ricotta cheese and the tips to follow and what to avoid, the next part is how to make them! Here are five of my favorite recipes you should try and links to the full recipe:

Easiest Homemade Ricotta Cheese Recipe from Great British Chefs

If you want small curds for spreads or making a creamy lasagna base, then you will love Great British Chef's homemade ricotta cheese recipe.T hey only use THREE ingredients, and it results in a rich and creamy texture, as well as a better yield than using whey or skimmed milk.

You'll love how smooth and slightly sweet it is, and it's perfect for adding it to your dessert dishes. Crumble it on top of bread and pasta, make it into a dip, you have the full control! And, it's effortless to make.

Click here for the full recipe!

Traditional Whey Ricotta Cheese Recipe from Cultures for Health

For those who are looking for the traditional way on how to make Ricotta cheese, then this recipe uses whey. While it may not be as sweet and creamy, it's ideal for those who have leftover whey from creating other types of cheese and to avoid wasting their ingredients. You can also opt to add milk to the recipe to make it have a better flavor and texture!

So for those who have leftover whey and want a quick way to use it, try this recipe.

Click here for the full recipe!​

Simple Ricotta Cheese Recipe from The Kitchn

Only taking around half an hour and two to three ingredients, The Kitchn's Ricotta cheese recipe is another one of the easiest and simplest recipes to follow. It gives you the freedom to make the amount of Ricotta you need for the fridge or recipes, as well as the better texture and flavor as compared to the grocery stores.

It's fresh, and you have a choice of getting wet and loose Ricotta or a firm version. It's the perfect recipe for those who are just beginning to make cheese all by themselves!

Click here for the full recipe!​

Extra Crispy's Homemade Ricotta Cheese Recipe

What's great about Extra Crispy's homemade Ricotta cheese recipe is that it only needs four ingredients you can easily find in the supermarket and two kitchen tools for making the cheese. Extra Crispy allows customization in their recipes, where you can have either small or large curds for easy spooning or spreading.

Either way, this is one of the simplest and straightforward recipes one can follow. You'll love the tanginess from the lemon juice or vinegar mixed with the creaminess of the whole milk and heavy cream. This recipe is best for scattering on a pizza or sprinkling on top of pasta and other savory dishes.

Click here for the full recipe!

Six Dollar Family's Affordable Homemade Ricotta Cheese Recipe

If you want something affordable and straightforward, Six Dollar Family proves to be a family of cooks that create homemade recipes that are perfect for your taste buds and wallet. Their homemade Ricotta cheese recipe only has three essential ingredients and the necessary tools you can find in your kitchen. Bonus tip: They suggest other filters than just the cheesecloth if you don't have it at home.

It tastes fresh and tasty, with a rich flavor that is even better than the store-bought cheese in your local supermarkets. I would recommend using this recipe for those making lasagna or pizza. But take note- This recipe doesn't freeze well!

Click here for the full recipe!

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In Conclusion

When it comes to making homemade Ricotta cheese, not only will you love how easy the process is, but you'll also love the outcome and many uses you'll be able to do for your dishes because of this cheese. I love Ricotta cheese because it's versatile and effortless to make, as long as you follow the directions and use it right. My kids love the various dishes I whip up with Ricotta cheese, and I'm sure your family will, too!

I hope that this article on how to make homemade Ricotta cheese helped you become more knowledgeable about what to do when you want to make your cheese or have none in the supermarket. So what are you waiting for? Try and of these homemade Ricotta cheese recipes today and see which one is best for you.

If you have any questions or would like to share your tips and experiences on making homemade Ricotta cheese, then comment down below. I would like to hear what you have to think.​

    Claire J. Ruiz

    I'm Claire, and my passion is cooking. I believe that food is what actually unites people and the dining table is where we set aside our differences. When we eat we become vulnerable because enjoying food requires a different level of trust and surrender to the person preparing your food. Sharing and enjoying food is one of the most intimate experiences in life.​

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