Take a look at the back of your tub of Ricotta cheese and read the ingredients. Aside from the fact that it could take all day, there are probably things in that container that you can’t pronounce much less sound like actual food. What if I told you, you can make ricotta cheese with two ingredients. Well since the cat is out of the bag, let’s get started!
What you will need:
1 Gallon Whole Milk
2/3 Cup of Lemon Juice OR 1 Teaspoon Citric Acid
1 Teaspoon Salt (Optional)
2 Large Bowls
In a stock pot, warm milk and lemon juice (or citric acid) over medium heat to 195 degrees, stirring occasionally. Halfway through this process you will notice the milk start to separate into whey and curd. Remove from heat at 195 degrees and stir in salt if seasoning. Let sit for 5 minutes.
While the milk comes to temperature, place cheese cloth in one bowl and strainer in another.
When the milk reaches 195 degrees, pour into cheese cloth covered bowl and gather the ends together. Lift and hold to drain significant amount of whey and place in the strainer.
Drain the whey for about 20-30 minutes. Check the texture after about 15 minutes. For a dryer cheese, drain longer.
TADA! Thick, bright, rich, creamy ricotta cheese! The possibilities are endless. Sweet or savory I guarantee this cheese will be much better than the store bought version!
Need a few ideas? Here are just a few optional additional ingredients:
Maybe a drizzle of honey and fresh fruit? Or add a few tablespoons to your favorite pancake batter!
Crusty bread, dry Italian meats, lemon zest, basil, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper…just to name a few more.
Italians might call this line up Antipasto.
I call it dinner.