Making your own ricotta cheese takes only 4 ingredients and 15 minutes! The taste is amazing! You won't want to go back to store bought containers after you've tried your own homemade version!
I first ran across the idea of making ricotta cheese from: www.framedcooks.com. It looked super easy, but since I don't keep whole milk, cream and buttermilk around the house, I wasn't sure if the cost of purchasing the ingredients to make it outweighed the taste or the cost of a store bought container. I kept the idea in the back of my mind, but eventually my curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to make it for a pan of lasagna I needed to make.
Now that I've tried it, my conclusion? Worth it! The taste is so amazing!. I don't use ricotta cheese alot, so when I do it's usually for something special and this recipe is so great, that I will make my own fresh ricotta cheese from now on when I need it for a special dish regardless of the cost over store bought. Sometimes you gotta throw thrifty out the window!
So grab a strainer and some cheese cloth and lets get started!
Fresh Ricotta Cheese:
(makes about 2 cups by volume of ricotta cheese)
4 cups whole milk
1 cup butter milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1) Line a fine mesh strainer with several folds of cheese cloth and set it over a bowl.
2) In heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, stir milk, buttermilk and cream together.
3) Bring to a boil stirring occasionally, until temperature reaches 185 degrees.. If you don't have a thermometer, no worries, it takes about 10 minutes to get there, and you'll know when your there when the milk separates into solid white parts (curds) and cloudy liquid (whey).
4) Remove from heat and with a slotted spoon scoop the white cheese curds into the mesh strainer. Sprinkle cheese with a little salt every couple of scoops.
5) Let the ricotta cheese drain approximately 5 minutes. Taste for consistency. Drain more if you want it a little drier. You can just leave it draining in the strainer, but I got fancy for you and hung the cheese cloth ball from the faucet over the sink. (Ok, it was just more fun that way!)
|One batch of Ricotta cheese was perfect for 2 layers in my lasagna!|
Best used right away but can store covered in refrigerator for 1-2 days.
Jan's tip: You can re-hydrate your ricotta if you need to just stir in a little bit of milk or cream to it before using.
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