How to make homemade ricotta cheese within an hour

BY MARC JACOBSON - NOVEMBER 16, 2016

The word ‘ricotta’ literally means ‘re-cooked’, as it is made with the whey contents after what is left during the process of cheese-making.

These contents are solidified by the remaining proteins after the casein has been used to make the cheese. The industrial cheeses that are labelled ‘ricotta’ often tend to be plastic-like, fake and a bit tasteless, especially after tasting the delight of creamy, fresh and flavoursome ricotta made from afresh.

With this in mind, herewith is the opportunity to make your own freshly-made ricotta cheese. However take note of the equipment: other than a pot and spoon, using an instant-read thermometer will come in very handy (and alleviate any temperature guesswork). Also, I use my nut milk strainer bag thingy for straining the ricotta cheese (and homemade yogurt, too). It works like a dream (and washes up easily for reuse) but you can also use cheesecloth inside a colander.

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups milk (2% or above for creamier ricotta)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon coarse, kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup distilled white vinegar

 Directions:

  1. Combine the milk, heavy cream, and salt in a medium pot. Heat on medium, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching (you can kick up the heat to speed up the process if you don't mind stirring attentively the whole time), until the milk is steaming just below a simmer and registers 180 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
  2. Off the heat, stir in the vinegar. Immediately, the milk will start to separate. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Line a colander with a double layer of cheesecloth (coffee filters work great, too, if you stagger them or they are large enough) or open a nut milk strainer bag over a large bowl. Spoon in the large curds first if you want to avoid splatters and follow it up by pouring in the rest of the mixture.
  4. If using a nut milk bag, carefully lift it up and out of the bowl and hang it so it can continue to drip into the bowl. Let the ricotta strain for 10-60 minutes, depending on the texture you are after. I usually go with right around 15 minutes for super creamy ricotta.
  5. Scrape the ricotta out of the colander or bag; use immediately or refrigerate up to a week or so.

 

Contact Franchisee Liandé Barnard
Eastern Cape contact number 086 163 6845
Eastern Cape email address exec4@ricochetpublishing.co.za