Lean how to make whole milk ricotta. There’s nothing better than a fresh batch of homemade ricotta cheese and you’ll be surprised at how quick and easy it is to make. If you have never had homemade ricotta before give this recipe a try, you won’t be disappointed. Home-made ricotta has a wonderful texture and unique milky flavour that tastes so much better than anything you could buy.
How Do You Make Homemade Ricotta Cheese?
To make fresh ricotta cheese you just need a few basic ingredients and there is no special equipment is needed.
What you need is a large saucepan, white vinegar and a little salt, as well as a muslin cloth (which you can buy from most dress fabric shops), a strainer, mixing spoon and a container to store the ricotta in.
You make this fresh whole milk ricotta cheese by adding a pinch of salt to the milk, then heat the milk until just boiling, then add a few tablespoons of white vinegar, mix gently until the curds form. Allow the curds and whey to stand for about 5 minutes before straining into a muslin cloth, allow to hang for another 10 minutes, then store or use the ricotta as you wish.
What Milk Is Ricotta Made From?
Authentic ricotta cheese is traditionally made with pure milk, which can be difficult to get unless you have a dairy or your own milking cow. If you wanted to recreate a similar result you could add extra cream to milk before making the cheese.
The easiest and most cost-effective way is to use pasteurised full cream milk. You could also use skim milk, however, due to the low-fat content you will need to use more skim milk to produce the same amount as you would get from full cream milk.
Another alternative is to use milk that has been made from full cream milk powder.
How Much Ricotta Is In A Litre Of Milk?
How much whole milk ricotta you get from a litre of milk will depend on the type of milk used (as discussed above), and how much of the whey is drained from the curd.
The more whey left in with the curds will give you a cheese that is moist and weighs more. The longer you drain the curds the drier the cheese will be.
For example: We usually make ricotta with 2 litres of full cream milk and prefer the ricotta to be slightly dry, after about 5 – 10 minutes of draining, we get about 350 grams of ricotta cheese. If you don’t like it this dry don’t drain it as long.
How To Make The Whey?
White vinegar or fresh lemon juice can be used to make the whey. Our preferred method is to use white vinegar as this does not leave an after taste.
If you do use lemon juice be careful not to use too much of it. Start by stirring in 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice to start with, then mixing in an extra tablespoon of juice at a time until the milk curdles, don’t add any more juice after that, if you do you could end up with a lemon flavored cheese.
Step by Step How to Make Ricotta Cheese
Step 1 - Warming The Milk
Place the milk and a little salt in a saucepan, bring to almost boiling point, but don’t let it come to a complete boil. You want the milk to be heated just to the point where it froths and bubbles start to form around the sides of the pot. Turn off the heat and remove the pot from the burner. While the milk is heating stir it several times to prevent the milk from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning.
Step 2 - Add Vinegar to The Milk
Start by adding 5 tablespoons of vinegar to the hot milk and stir it in, leave for a few seconds, then add the remaining vinegar, stir again and allow to stand for 5 minutes. In this time the milk solids and liquid will separate into curds and whey.
Step 3 - Draining
While the milk is standing, line a large sieve with two layers of cheese cloth and place this into a large bowl or pot. Pour the separated milk into the lined sieve to drain the liquid from the solids. Allow the curds to sit in the strainer for 5 minutes, before moving onto the next step.
Next, gather and tie the ends of the cheesecloth together and hang the cheese for about 5 – 10 minutes. You could tie the cloth to a wooden spoon and suspend it in a deep pot or tie it to your kitchen tap.
The End Result
Remove the ricotta cheese from the cloth and transfer the cheese to storage container. Use a spoon to press the cheese into the bowl - compressing the cheese will help keep it moist. Allow it to cool completely before covering and storing in the fridge.
Ricotta cheese can be kept in the fridge for about a week, or if you prefer it can be frozen for up to three months.
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How To Make Whole Milk Ricotta At Home
- Large deep pot
- Large double layer of muslin cloth
- Sieve or colander
- 2 liters (8 cups) Milk
- 1 ½ teaspoons Salt
- 10 tablespoons White Vinegar
- Place the milk and salt into a large saucepan, heat the milk over a medium to high flame until it just comes to the boil. Stir the milk from time to time to prevent it from scorching to the bottom of the pot.Note: You don’t want the milk to come to a complete boil, just to the point where the milk froths and bubbles start to appear on the sides of the pan.
- Remove from the heat, stir in 5 tablespoons of vinegar into the milk, and leave for a few seconds.
- Add another 5 to 6 tablespoons of vinegar, stir and mix well. The milk should separate, and curds and whey will form. Let this sit in the pot for 5 minutes.
- Prepare a sieve lined with a double layer of cheese cloth (or muslin), place this over a large bowl if you want to keep the whey or, drain directly over the sink if you don’t want to keep the whey.
- Pour the heated milk mixture into the lined sieve and allow to sit in the sieve for another 5 minutes.
- Next, tie the ends of the cheese cloth together and allow the ricotta cheese to hang and drain for about 5 – 10 minutes.Note: This can be done by tying the cheese cloth around a large wooden spoon and suspended it from the top of a deep large pot, or just tie the cloth to the kitchen tap.
- Remove the ricotta cheese from the cloth and transfer to a bowl, use the back of a spoon to press it down, allow it to cool, cover and store in the fridge.
- Ricotta can be kept for up to one week in the fridge or it can be frozen.