Best Ricotta Recipe Ever – Home Made, Fast and Delicious

Best Ricotta Recipe

For the past four weeks, I have been doing a weekly food segment with SBS Radio’s Arabic program, discussing food and its relationship with Middle Eastern culture, the origin of various dishes, food that has gone extinct, ingredients, techniques and produce. This Friday, the topic will be on the various methods of preserving food, from drying to curing (sugar, spice or salt), smoking, distilling, brining, pickling, etc… In the interview I mention that the reason we have a all this variety of beautiful foodstuffs – think jamon, sardines, couscous, confit, jams – stems from our need to preserve food for the less abundant winter months. It’s difficult for us to imagine that all these unbelievable dishes have been conceived for the basic reason of survival. Take for example a nice piece of cheddar cheese and compare its lifespan to that of a bottle of milk and you’ll know what I’m talking about. The fact that cheese tastes amazing is secondary to the fact that the milk’s use by date has been considerably pushed back.

Today, I had a litre of milk in my fridge that was due to expire in 3 days. Turning it into ricotta added a further 10 days to my investment, and I have to say, I enjoy eating ricotta much more than I enjoy drinking milk. Ricotta is possibly the easiest cheese to make. It takes 5 minutes of preparation, 20 minutes of draining, and bingo, it’s ready to devour. You need no specialist equipment apart from butter muslin or a cheese cloth and no difficult to find ingredients like rennet. To separate the milk solids from the whey you use citric acid which is available at most supermarkets. Some recipes use vinegar but I find I get better results with citric acid. The remaining ingredients are milk and salt, and if you want to indulge, some double cream. This is a high yield cheese, which produces around 200 grams from 1 litre of milk and 3 tbsp of cream. Apart from being easy to make, home made ricotta is better and creamier than any ricotta you have ever tasted. I had mine with bananas, walnuts and honey. Absolutely divine!

Best Ricotta Recipe – makes around 200 g

Ingredients

  • 1 litre pasteurised full cream milk
  • 1/2 tsp citric acid dissolved in 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsp cream (optional, but recommended)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Method

  1. Mix milk all the ingredients in a saucepan
  2. Heat the on the stove, stirring often to prevent scalding, until the milk solids seperate from the whey
  3. Once the solids separate, stop stirring and take off the heat and leave alone for 10 minutes
  4. Strain in cheese cloth or butter muslin for 20 to 30 minutes depending on how dry you like it
  5. The ricotta is ready to eat immediately

28 Responses to “Best Ricotta Recipe Ever – Home Made, Fast and Delicious”

  1. Great Site! Thanks for the info

  2. Fouad

    This is welcome info as I had been planning to make ricotta; thanks! great photo as always.
    .-= tasteofbeirut´s last blog ..Frog legs with garlic and cilantro =-.

  3. Steph says:

    Hah I totally agree with you about enjoying this more than drinking milk. The last time I made ricotta at home I was eating it straight out of the cheesecloth while it was still cooling, it was so good. You’ve made me want to make another batch!

  4. FFichiban says:

    Yuuummmmm, and I concur cheese >>>>>>>>>> milk hee hee. I shall have to give this a go! unless my laziness compels haha
    .-= FFichiban´s last blog ..boozeday toozeday #7 – Kahlua Especial and Chocolate Kahlua souffles =-.

  5. Sara says:

    Wow, what a great recipe! Thanks for sharing! Love your blog!!! :) I have so many dear Lebanese friends! I love Lebanese food & culture!

  6. Trendsetters says:

    thk u….will be useful in india whr we dont get store ricotta
    .-= Trendsetters´s last blog ..Baked Bhindi (Okra) =-.

  7. Now the question is what do you do with it after you have made it?

    I like to put a little powdered sugar, some vanilla to taste and some fresh strawberries to top it off…Makes a great afternoon snack or after dinner treat!!

  8. Forage says:

    love this post! I love ricotta with fresh figs and honey on toast in the morning.
    .-= Forage´s last blog ..Potato omelette with balsamic mushrooms =-.

  9. [...] No. You want to use thick creamy ricotta, not the thin grainy packaged supermarket stuff. Why not make your own?. You need about two tablespoons per person. Fold through a fruity honey. Don’t combine [...]

  10. Viviane says:

    This is on my to do list actually, I have a recipe waiting for me to try it. The ricotta you made looks great as usual. I love your attention to details and making things look appetizing!

  11. Fouad says:

    sorry about the late reply everyone…. moving houses :(

    sierracheese – thanks for visiting. i love your idea with the sugar and vanilla… sounds awesome. i’ll try it with the next batch

    joumana – thanks! I’m sure i’ll hear about it when you make it :)

    steph – isn’t it awesome! milk is terrible compared to ricotta hehehe

    FFichiban – hehehe. it only takes 30 minutes mate. come on!! do it!

    sara – i love lebanese food and culture too hehehehe. glad you enjoyed the recipe

    trendsetters – glad I was able to help

    Forage – ricotta with honey is the bomb. fantastic breakfast. also had it with pancakes and it was awesome with maple syrup…

    viviane – hehe! glad you like my work. it always make me happy to hear those remarks. thanks!

  12. sometimes when you cook i weep… perfect…

  13. Jen says:

    Love the picture – I always wanted to make my own ricotta. Yet I cannot find citric acid anywhere. Must be the Canadian supermarkets…..sigh. :-)

  14. Anita Khalek says:

    Never used citric acid before, I always use vinegar and mine doesn’t come out as creamy. I wonder if it’s the vinegar or the addition of heavy cream?! Great post, I’ll try it your way :)

  15. delicieux says:

    I’ve never thought of making ricotta at home. I will definitely have to give this one a try next time I plan to make cannelloni instead of purchasing ricotta. Thanks for the recipe :)

  16. radha says:

    hav u ever tried the squeeze of a lemon instead of acid citric? Cause i use it for making paneer and was wondering if can work for ricotta! actually yes it s exactly the same (milk & citrus) no?

  17. Jaja says:

    thanks for your recipe! I tried it using a low fat milk and it still turned out great. I added an additional 2 tablespoons of cream and used 2Tbsp of vinegar instead of citric acid. Turned out creamy and great! thanks again!!!

  18. Tsarina says:

    WOW. this is what I am looking for.When I bought ricotta cheese, I thought this is just like milk that have been boiled and the solid have been separated from liquid, won’t be difficult to make. I search for recipe and found yours.It looks great, and I am going to try it right now.

    SHUKRAN and TERIMA KASIH (thanks for Arabic and Indonesian)

  19. Joel says:

    G’day

    I’ve tried making ricotta a couple of times, both times it has ended too dry. Today, it was fine at first but after an hour cooled and in the fridge, too dry!

    I used non-homogenised milk, and only drained it in the clothe for about a minute tops. Any tips?

  20. Fouad says:

    Hey Joel. My issue when it’s dry is usually when I overheat it. Ricotta should immediately be taken off the heat once it curdles, otherwise the curds stretch and bind. Did it become like a block?

  21. Joel says:

    That could well be it. Forms a couple of rubbery clumps. I’ll watch the heat next time. Thanks!

    – joel.

  22. cheezee says:

    This is a cheat receipe for Ricotta. The cheese used the left over whey from Mozzarella. When the Mozz is made correctly, the whey still has enough to coagulate. That’s what seperates Cottage Cheese(or Panier) from Ricotta.

  23. Lovely Fouad! You’ve reminded how easy it is to make ricotta. Thank you!
    Lizzy (Good Things)´s last [type] ..Salmon – fresh, fast and flavoursome

  24. wesa says:

    wondering if this will work using leftover whey from making yoghurt cheese.

    re:jen citric acid is sometimes called “sour salt”

  25. The reason it’s dry is because you have put too much acid in there…(wether its citric acid or vinager) Heat your milk and cream up to about 185 and let it sit there for about 15 minutes. Then add your acid. Not too much because the acid forces the whey and the ricotta to seperate more…Actually if its too dry its perfect for cooking (i.e. Lasagna) because now you can add your own ingredients (i.e. pecorino, egg parsley) and no watering off. (this is the way most restaurants prefer it unless your going to eat it right away)

  26. Vanessa says:

    I’ve made this twice now and both times I ended up with very rubbery ricotta, not light and fluffy as it should be. I used unhomogenised organic milk. Do you think it might be the milk? I really don’t know what I’m doing wrong! (Oh, I didn’t add cream). Thank you!
    Vanessa´s last [type] ..Three children

  27. Joel says:

    Hi Vanessa

    I had the same issue, as Fouad suggested I was heating the milk too much. I didn’t use cream either, and once I got the temp right the ricotta was fantastic!

    Joel

  28. Gillian says:

    Hi,

    I have just tried this recipe and somehow managed to mess up…

    You say to take it off the heat when the solids start to separate from the whey. This seemed to happen very quickly, at less than 100F. I started getting large curds, but the whey didn’t go clear like other recipes said should happen. Should I have stopped there?

    I carried on up to 195F, and just go smaller curds and milkier whey… In the end I tried draining that, but the whey was so milky the cheese cloth got clogged up. As I said, not too successfull…

Leave a Reply

*

CommentLuv badge
All rights reserved The Food Blog 2010