I had to do it. I was talking about it for probably three weeks, and I just couldn’t resist. I wanted to make some homemade ricotta. One of our favorite restaurants, Bridgid’s, gives you homemade lemon ricotta and olive oil at the start of your meal, and every time we go I insist that I’m gonna try making it at home. I always knew it was fairly simple to make, and it’s one cheese where you don’t need a lot of time, nor do you need any specialized equipment. So, I figure, it’s the perfect gateway cheese for the aspiring fromagère.
And, after everything, it was easier than I thought. Plus, you can totally make small batches to experiment with different flavors and varying levels of fat. This version was made with whole milk and cream, so you can definitely taste how rich it is. You’ll also notice it’s slightly yellow, from all the milk fat. I plan on experimenting with some partial skim, or sans-cream versions as well for desserts or dips. As far as I’m concerned, the possibilities are endless.
This really is super simple and all you need is some patience, since you’ll need to slowly bring the milk and cream up to temp and you’ll need to be patient while the cheese drains.
it’s the perfect gateway cheese for the aspiring fromagère.
This is a super simple cheese to make at home. No specialized ingredients, like rennet, or cheese specific apparatuses. I didn’t even bother to get cheese cloth, though it probably would have made the draining process a bit quicker in all honesty. I wasn’t ready to fully commit to that cheesemaking lifestyle just yet. I simply used some coffee filters, cause I had them on hand, but honestly you could even get away with using a thin tea towel, or even just a paper towel.
The one thing you will need is a thermometer, but you should probably have one of those anyway, I highly recommend them, quite a handy tool. It’ll exponentially increase you quality of life. I promise. Just get one.
just cream, milk, lemon & salt
- 4 C Whole Milk
- 3/4 C cream
- Juice from 1 Lemon
- 1/2 TSP Salt
- Olive Oil
- Lemon Zest
Special Equipment: Thermometer, coffee filters or cheesecloth
There are three parts to this recipe, heating, curdling and draining. Each are super simple, they just take some time and patience.
So, for the first part, add your milk and cream to a large saucepan and place over medium heat. You want to bring the temp up to 195°F (90.5°C ), slowly. You don’t want this to boil over, so I recommend slowly stirring and setting an alert on your thermometer, if you have that option. Otherwise, just keep an eye on the temp. Here it took me about 20 minutes to get it up to 195°F (90.5°C ), don’t rush it.
Once you are at temp you need to add in a little salt to season, take it off the heat and then you are ready to curdle, which just consists of adding some lemon juice. Add in the juice, give it one quick stir, and then let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
After 5-10 minutes you are ready to start straining the cheese. Here I used coffee filters, cause I didn’t have any cheesecloth, and they work just fine. Line a mesh colander with a few filters and let your cheese strain. The longer you let it strain the firmer it’ll be. I waited about an hour and a half to get the consistency I wanted. Also keep in mind that once its fully chilled it’ll be slightly firmer too. And thats it, you now have some super fresh ricotta cheese!
As a little appetizer I plated some up with a generous drizzle of olive oil, some course salt, fresh ground pepper, parsley and lemon zest. It was gone in about 3 mins. But, I do plan on making some other recipes with my fresh cheese…