Fresh Homemade Ricotta

Sometimes, the best food posts are the ones that get you salivating over something distant and far away, and then tell you how to make it at home. Smitten Kitchen’s Deb did just that. After raving about Salvatore Bklyn‘s fresh, rich ricotta on her “Deb’s New York” page, she painted the most beautiful, irresistible palate portrait (yes I just said palate portrait) of it in her post instructing you on how to make it. And make it I did.

And after making the cheese which takes twenty minutes of your time and an hour and a half of draining time, I swirled in a hint of vanilla extract and a tiny bit of honey, smeared the mixture into a buttery homemade tart shell and topped it with the fruit at hand – in this case, the sweetest mangoes imaginable.

But more on these tarts next week (I would post earlier, but unfortunately I’m off to GOA!!), I urge you to make the ricotta TODAY and eat it on toasted bread with extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper. Do it.

Fresh Homemade Ricotta
completely un-adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes one generous cup

I love DIY recipes like these that with minimal effort and time produce fantastic results at a fraction of the cost of the product on the shelf (cheeses in India are really very expensive). Deb’s recipe “blasphemously” incorporates not only full fat milk, but also heavy cream, producing a luxurious, rich, addictive ricotta that you are likely to start making on the regular (I know I will!).

3 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Pour the milk, cream and salt into a deep saucepan. If you have a candy/deep fry thermometer, heat the mixture till it reaches 190 degrees F, stirring every once in a while to stop the bottom from burning. If you, like me, don’t have a candy thermometer, heat the mixture till its quite hot to the touch, but not scorching.

Turn off the heat, add the lemon juice and stir a few times. The mixutre will start to curdle almost instantly. Leave the pot undisturbed for five minutes.

Meanwhile, line a large strainer with muslin/cheesecloth and set it over a bowl to catch the whey. Empty the contents of the pot into the lined strainer and leave the cheese to strain for an hour to two hours (depending on how thick you want the ricotta, I strained mine for an hour and a half).

Once drained, you can eat the ricotta immediately, or store it in the fridge in an airtight container.

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9 Responses to Fresh Homemade Ricotta

  1. Sho says:

    Yummay. If I could make this, my parents would worship at my feet.
    And I’m sorry but I want that tart NOW. NOW I TELL YOU!

    • Tanya says:

      Unfortunately my mum has stopped being very impressed by food. She now nods her approval, or at the very very best says “this is good, is it also cheaper to make at home than to buy at a restaurant?” !!

  2. Sho says:

    Now you come back, yes?

  3. Disha says:

    Hi! Interesting blog 🙂
    I do have two questions, if you don’t mind, they’ve been on my mind ever since I’ve started experimenting in the kitchen..
    1) Where do you get heavy cream in Delhi? (I am assuming you’re from here, because you mentioned it somewhere) And I don’t mean the expensive, foreign brands.. but is there a local or Indian brand that makes heavy cream?
    2) What exactly is the difference between ricotta and cottage cheese..? Because if I am not wrong.. isn’t this sort of how you make cottage cheese too?

    • Tanya says:

      Hi Disha! Thanks, I’m glad you stopped by. To answer your questions:
      1. I use two types of cream when I cook or bake: heavy cream and whipping cream. The latter is imported, and rather expensive, so I only ever use it when I want to top off a baked good with softly whipped cream. For everything else I use Amul Fresh Cream or Gopaljee Fresh Cream, usually available in most grocery stores. They’re both heavy creams with high fat contents. I use these whenever a recipe calls for “cream”/”heavy cream”/”whipping cream”/”double cream”, etc. (as long as the cream doesn’t need to be whipped, since it’s very difficult, though not impossible, to get these creams whipped up).

      2. Ricotta and cottage cheese are quite similar (though I have never tasted the latter) and are both fresh unripened cheeses. From what I can tell, there are small differences in the method by which each is made, that give them slightly different textures. Cottage cheese is meant to be softer, more pillowy and creamy. It can have larger curds or smaller curds, and often the cream is added after the curds are separated from the whey. Ricotta on the other hand has a slightly grainier texture, and is usually not as rich as cottage cheese. The recipe I posted here, though, was for a richer ricotta cheese with the cream stirred into the milk at the start of the cooking process. It’s texture is still very different from cottage cheese.

      Hope this helped 🙂

  4. Disha says:

    Thank you so much for the response, Tanya.. 🙂 You’ve found another regular follower of your blog in me 🙂
    And, yes, I will be asking questions! Hehe. And I will try out some of your recipes and let you know how they turned out!
    Thanks, again.

  5. Pingback: Strawberry ricotta scones, bad habits | Burnt Around The Edges

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