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I have seen a few recipes.. Some use Lemons , some use Vinegars, some use buttermilk some used whole milk.

So it appears that different ways exist?

Yesterday i made some for the first time.

2C Heavy Cream

1C 0% Milk

pinch of sugar

pinch of salt

zest of 1/2 lemon and juice ( about 2T )

Cooked to 175 and added acid, let set about 30 mins. drained in a tea cloth, over night.

What I noticed, it didn't drain as well in the tea cloth, this seems more like a cream fresh? Really creamy ( not grainy :rolleyes: but not the curds that i expected. Not hot enough before acid? would be better drained through a cheese cloth?

Doesn't taste bad, maybe a bit lemony. So I'll have to watch where I use it.

Help and what is your go to recipe?

Its good to have Morels

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I usually make ricotta from the whey (with the addition of a small amount of milk, half & half or cream) after making mozzarella or cream cheese. But also sometimes make it with whole milk.

I use the recipes shown here.

I prefer using the citric acid as I have found I get a more consistent result than with lemon juice or vinegar.

I buy the "real" cheesecloth, also known as "butter muslin" because it can be washed and re-used numerous times - I wash it by hand but sometimes have stuffed it into a mesh bag and put it through the dishwasher - top rack.

I have been subscribed to their email "Moosletter" for a few years and also to the Blog for two years.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett


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I make it from whey only, with no additions other than the lime juice, after making high-fat mozzarella - I've never made it any other way, and I'd actually consider starting with whole milk specifically for the ricotta kind of sacriligeous. I was taught that it's re-cheese, and that no other additions should be necessary beyond a clabbering agent.

This said, I'd bet you get higher yeilds starting with milk rather than whey.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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I thought ricotta was only made from whey, not whole milk. It sounds like you're making something more like paneer.

Incidentally, when I make paneer, I use yoghurt to curdle the milk. I simply leave it out the fridge to sour a bit. The result is a higher yield of paneer and it tastes better. No lemony taste for a start! I also bring the milk to a boil. Once it's boiled, I turn the heat right down, add the yoghurt and stir gently. As soon as it goes, I strain it. I was told that keeping it too hot once you've added the acid (lemon juice, vinegar, sour yoghurt) can result in tough curds. Btw, if you use lemon juice, rinse the curds gently after straining.

Edited by Jenni (log)
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I make whole-milk ricotta regularly. I use the recipe from Ricki Carroll's Home Cheese Making. Obviously this is different from traditional ricotta which is made from the whey.

1/2 gallon whole milk (I use organic milk from Trader Joe's)

1/2 teaspoon citric acid

1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat to 185 - 195F in a large pot, without boiling

Let stand covered for 10 minutes

Drain in cheesecloth for 20 min (I use a synthetic cheesecloth that can be washed afterwards).

It's probably a good idea to buy some citric acid so you can make a neutral-tasting ricotta, instead of using lemon or vinegar. Regarding local sources, where are you located?

Also try making it using whole milk instead of heavy cream.

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Do any of the markets in your region have a section for kosher foods? You can usually find citric acid there labeled "Sour Salt"

If you don't have access to non-homogenized milk (cream top) it is not always easy to make cheese of any kind with the now "regular" ultra-pasteurized milk. The curd won't form firmly.

You can add a small amount of calcium chloride to the milk which makes it more ready to form nice, firm curds which separate readily from the whey. You can also get it from New England Cheesemaking Supply along with the liquid animal rennet - I buy almost all of my supplies from NECS. (at the link in my first post)

Got a cheese press here which you don't need unless you want to make "aged" cheeses but I now use it for forming ricotta salata, soft cheeses that get "aged" a few days. I have a larger one but haven't made hard cheeses for a while.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett


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Okay, just got an email from a guest lurker who reminded me that I referred her to this

Ricotta recipe a couple of years ago and it works perfectly and is easy for the novice.

At that time I advised her to save the remaining liquid in the fridge and use it in bread and she says it does wonders for her sourdough and the "Bohemian" rye she makes weekly.

I don't know why I didn't think of it. I have had the recipe in my "standards" folder on card stock laminated with plastic, for several years.

It does not have any "lemony" flavor and doesn't require any ingredients that are difficult to find.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett


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Where might I find Citric Acid..Locally

I got mine from cheesemaking.com, but I've read that citric acid is available in pharmacies. I decided to try a search on CVS.com. No obvious hits, but there was one intriguing result. It appears that Alka Seltzer is Citric Acid + Baking Soda + Aspirin. I don't think I'd recommend it, but I find the idea humorous. You might ask your local pharmacist if they have any just plain citric acid.

Kmart.com also has citric acid listed under their crafts section.

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Not that I've made ricotta yet, but I have purchased citric acid in the baking section of the supermarket here. It was next to the baking powder and cream of tartar.

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A couple weeks ago, I took a ricotta-making class from Rosetta Costantino (My Calabria cookbook). Her recipe is made from whole milk with a little cream--She emphasized, not ultrapasteurized cream. RC developed this recipe to duplicate the rich ricotta her parents made on their farm in Calabria. It's not made from whey. An adapted recipe is on the Saveur website. The original recipe is in her cookbook. In RC's recipe, the milk is cooled to 100 F before adding rennet. An ice bath for the milk mixture will bring the temp down faster.


This makes a delicious, curdy ricotta. The tricky part, I think, is how you stir the curds after you've coagulated the milk mixture with rennet. After breaking up the coagulated milk mixture, Rosetta gently stirred the mixture with a skimmer (like this one http://www.amazon.com/OXO-Grips-Stainless-Steel-Skimmer/dp/B00004OCOU/ref=sr_1_7?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1333252418&sr=1-7 ), very slowly, in one direction. Someone said it was like herding the curds into a single mass, encouraging them to hang out together--if that description helps at all.

You might consider buying rennet for your cheesemaking. Animal rennet will last a year in the fridge, and if it's double-strength, you'll need only a little to coagulate a big pot of milk. Ricotta draining baskets aren't necessary, though when you upend the basket-drained cheese on a platter, it sure looks attractive and professional. Cheesemaking.com ( http://www.cheesemaking.com/ ) sells rennet and baskets. (For people in the SF Bay Area, this store sells rennet and cheesemaking baskets, etc. at about the same prices: http://www.oakbarrel.com/ . )

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I went to the Cheesemaking Company and got some stuff.

I went with Vegetable Rennet ( DS )--I went with one pt ( but looks like it will be shared with my friends -- doesn't take much ), Citric Acid too.



Its good to have Morels

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Ricotta --- boiled again

Make cheese (remember that if you use sheep's milk you will get a lot more ricotta than if you use cow's milk --- use goat's milk and you will get about nothing --- It takes about 6 liters of sheep's milk to make 1 kg of cheese - 10 kg of cow's milk to make 1 kg of cheese and 15 liters of goats milk to make 1 kg of cheese (this is all more or less, but you get the idea - sheep milk makes lots more cheese than cow or goat milk cheese - same story for ricotta)

Strain the whey to get rid of all the leftover clumps of cheese

Put the whey on a burner and give it a good stir.

(if you want more ricotta - but this is cheating- add a glass of milk)

now leave it and heat slowly - don't touch it --- do not touch it. Let it be.

Heat slowly --- try to heat it too quick and you will burn your pot.

The ricotta will start to surface --- don't do anything --- and do not bring it to a bubbly boil.

As soon as you see the ricotta "break" (meaning -- the surface looks all white and then you hear a BLOOPP and the surface cracks)

Shut off the burner

Leave it for about 5 minutes

Carefully - very carefully - skim the ricotta off the top and put it in a ricotta basket (or something similar) to drain.

and that's it.

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  • 10 months later...
  • 3 years later...

I'm reviving this thread because making ricotta is something I've always meant to do, but never got to. A couple of days ago I made a small amount using whole milk, some heavy cream, and buttermilk for the acid. It was one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten. I'm now about to try some more, but since I don't have any more buttermilk I'll use either vinegar or lemon juice, I'm still debating over which one. I noticed on the breakfast thread some of you have been eating home made ricotta on your toast. How do you make yours? Do you make it regularly? Always with the same recipe? I think by the end of this week I might be giving away ricotta instead of my usual cake or cookies.

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I use citric acid, but have used vinegar and lemon juice in emergencies.  I use a gallon of whole milk at a time and the taste difference is negligible.  Whatever you use will impart just a very faint flavor.  I am somewhat averse to vinegar, yet just a little bit did not ruin it for me.  I think you should only need a couple of teaspoons per gallon and you can add more if things don't seem to be developing as you wish.  The lemon zest in the original post is probably unnecessary.  The acid is all that we're after.


I get about 22oz of ricotta (okay, paneer) for a gallon of milk.  Addition of cream seems to increase the yield a bit, but I'm not sure if the cost/benefit is worth it.



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I use about a quart of whole milk, a half to three-quarters of a cup of cream, about 3 tbsp of cider vinegar and a tsp of kosher salt. That makes about a good cup of ricotta.


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Don't ask. Eat it.


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11 minutes ago, kayb said:

I use about a quart of whole milk, a half to three-quarters of a cup of cream, about 3 tbsp of cider vinegar and a tsp of kosher salt. That makes about a good cup of ricotta.


This is almost exactly what I just did. One quart of whole milk, 1/2 cup of cream, about 2 Tbs white vinegar and 1/4 tsp of table salt. It's now draining, but of course I've tasted it already. I think it could use a bit more salt, but still, it is revelatory. I don't know why I waited so long to try this. The end product is light years beyond the simplicity of putting its ingredients together. 

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And if you want a cheesecake, I can only say that fresh homemade ricotta surpasses cream cheese in SO many ways....


I might add, I make it pretty frequently and in small batches, because it doesn't have a long fridge life.



Edited by kayb (log)
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Don't ask. Eat it.


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I'm guilty of spamming the breakfast thread with my random ricotta-on-toast pictures :D.  I use the same method that @Tere mentioned above and make it in the Instant Pot.   I throw in some heavy cream or half & half if there's some in need of using up.  I've been using lime juice, just because I have a tree that usually has lots of them but I've used lemon juice or vinegar as well.  I've been meaning to try citric acid but haven't done it yet.  



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