Uh, I feel better. Now that I’ve got all those amazing deals and spring fruit sitting on my counter, we can talk ricotta. I used to make my own all the time…probably twice a month. I used to use buttermilk in my oldschool ricotta but it was very…particular, and you had to watch it like a hawk or it wouldn’t turn out, or if it did, it would sour easily. Pssht, plus, you don’t have to buy buttermilk with this one, you just use lemon. (which if you know anything about buttermilk substitution, it’s just milk and lemon or distilled vinegar) Bottom line of that rant, this recipe is better and easier.
Making your own ricotta isn’t hard, and it will impress your friends… so you should probably try it at least once. Not to mention, it’s usually cheaper to make your own. But I will WARN you… if you ever make your own, you’ll never conveniently buy store bought again. You just wont, even the fancy brands. So I apologize ahead of time if you are spending more time in the kitchen making things from scratch (I’m not sorry).
To help ease you into this process I’m posting more pictures of the process, that way you can see the transformation of it start to finish.
Need some awesome ricotta meal idea? Fine, you pulled my leg….
Oatmeal, crepes, lasagna, cannelloni, stuffed chicken, danishes, baguettes, mix with granola (chilled), topped over the perfect simple pasta dish- like pomodoro, pancakes, cheesecake, ravioli’s, on pizza, baked eggplant. Need I go on?
If you’re adding it into a more breakfast themed endeavor, here’s a tip… add just a pinch of sugar or sweetener, it will go a long way. In fact, just a sprinkle of sugar you can just mouth the ricotta. Using the entire batch not just a spoonful? Add a 1/2 tsp of vanilla, it perks up the natural flavor but also leaves you with a subtle yet smooth vanilla undertone.
I hope I’ve convinced you once again….to make your own ricotta!
8 cups of whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp of lemon
You will need a cheese cloth and a strainer (can’t find cheese cloth? Most HyVee’s have them as well as Bed Bath & Beyond, they are a very cheap, no fear.)
1. In a large pan, add your milk, cream and salt. Bring to a SOFT boil. You don’t want to scold your milk, so be patient and set your heat to medium and let it come to a boil slow stirring the pan occasionally. This will also prevent you from scrapping milk off your stovetop because it’s boiled over..
2. After it has come to a boil, turn it to low and add your lemon, this will cause it to curd. Give it 2-3 gentle stirs, and let is just curd for 2-3 minutes.
3. Now you can get your strainer out and line it with your cheese cloth.
4. Once your timer goes off, carefully, and gently pour the your mixture into the strainer. Don’t rush it. I actually have two strainers and split this up, then combine them later. You want to make sure your strainer stays lined, if you over fill it, it will start to cave in on itself.
5. You’re done, kind of! Now you have to just let it wait. It takes 1-2 hours to slowly strain depending on how you divide up your mixture. This is why I have two strainers going, because it goes quicker (about 30 minutes). Once it’s done straining you can dump the whey or use it for cooking bread if you have plans!
Serve it warm, or chill it in a tightly sealed container, it will last a week give or take. This makes an amazing oatmeal addition with fresh fruit, or in lasagna rolls….my favorite!