How to Make Ricotta Cheese

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Follow these simple steps to master "How to Make Ricotta Cheese."
Possibly one of the easiest cheeses to make at home.
This recipe requires equipment you most likely already have in your home
-- no special utensils. Sweet & easy :)

My discovery of this ricotta cheese recipe came out of a lack.
Specialty cheeses are not readily available in the Philippines, and I needed to find a substitute and learn how to make ricotta cheese!

Your finished ricotta will look the same as store-bought;
taste better & function in recipes the same or better.
It's always nice to know what's in your edibles, and
homemade delivers that assurance. :)

finsihed ricotta



Needed Supplies:
1. Stainless steel pot
2. Cooking thermometer
3. Cheesecloth or a fine mesh colander

Ingredients:
1 gallon whole pasteurized milk
1/3 cup plus 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt

A few simple conversions :)
1 gallon = 16 cups
1 gallon = 3.79 liters
1/2 gallon = 8 cups

I made a half recipe using 1/2 gallon of milk.
Ricotta cheese doesn't freeze well, and should be used within 7 days of making, so I make only as much as I need for that day or the next.
A full recipe will yield roughly 4 cups of ricotta cheese.

1. Rinse out a large, non-reactive pot (stainless steel or hard-anodized fits the bill) with cold water. This helps to prevent scorching the milk during heating.

2. Measure the vinegar, so it's ready when the milk is at the right temperature.

3. Place milk in pot; add salt & stir briefly. Begin heating on low and allow milk to heat up slowly to 180 - 185 degrees.
Use a cooking thermometer to test heat & be sure not to touch the sides of the pot when testing. Test frequently with thermometer.

My best tip for how to make ricotta cheese successfully.
**I stir my milk constantly, but slowly with only a few times of stillness. You don't want to scorch the milk at this point. This can take some time; 20 - 25 minutes. When you are comfortable with the process, you will know how fast you can heat your milk without scorching, and you can cut your heating time down.

4. You will notice steam rising from the milk & tiny bubbles forming -- you are reaching your desired temperature.

5. When it reaches 180 - 185 degrees, remove the pot from the burner; add the vinegar & stir gently for only one minute. I time this. Curds will start to form immediately -- it's getting fun, isn't it? :)
**If it seems that the milk has scorched at all, don't scrap the bottom, so you don't get brown parts in your cheese.

6. Cover the pot with a dry clean dish towel & let it rest for at least 2 hours. Leave it undisturbed.

7. After 2 or more hours, line a colander/strainer with damp cheesecloth. Place the strainer over your sink drain, or a large pot, so the liquid (whey) can drain freely. Pour the cheese into the lined colander.

draining ricotta picture



My first time making ricotta cheese, I didn't have cheesecloth, so I used the same set up, (colander over a pot), but had to push & squeeze the liquid out with my hands. A little more labor intensive, but do-able. :)

8. The recipe says to drain the cheese for 2 hours; when I didn't have cheesecloth, I did this, but I jumped to the next step when I was using cheesecloth.

9. Take all four corners together and squeeze. Liquid will start draining immediately. Squeeze until you have the consistency you are looking for; drain longer if needed.
It sure is pretty, isn't it? :)

squeezing ricotta

small finished ricotta



10. Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Use sooner if possible.

Wash your cheesecloth & drape to dry. It cleans up so beautifully & it's ready for next time.
Anyone can experience success making ricotta cheese using these simple steps.

Blessings,
Julie :)




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