This was my very first experience with cheese-making at home. Ricotta is definitely one of the simpler cheeses to make. In fact, growing up in an Indian household I was always surrounded bypaneer making. My mom always preferred making paneer or cottage cheese at home – it was a simple procedure plus it saved us from all the preservatives that are added in the store bought paneer.
Ricotta making was pretty similar to paneer making and the amount of money I saved in making it at home completely blew my mind. Its surely going to be a regular in my house from now on. Another cool thing you can do while making ricotta is flavor it depending on its use. For instance if you are going to use the cheese for spreading on toasts etc. then you can add different herbs to it or if you are going to use it for some sweet tasting recipes then go ahead and add some vanilla beans, or some fruit zest in it.
The cheese has a very subtle underlying lemon flavor from the lemon juice used to make it curdle. I personally like it that way, but in case you want the cheese to be free of any flavor – you can substitute the lemon juice with equal amount of regular white vinegar. Either way, it is delicious and easy to make.
Serving 2.5 cups
Cooking time 15 minutes + time needed to “hang” the cheese (about 1 hour)
Things you will need:
1 .5 liters whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp juice from fresh lemon or regular white vinegar
- In a heavy bottom deep pan add milk, cream & salt.
- Place on medium low heat and cook stirring frequently till the milk mixture is heated through and starts turning frothy.
- Add lemon juice and stir while the mixture curdles.
- Stir for 2 to 3 minutes, strain the hot liquid through a cheesecloth that has been placed on a strainer.
- Let eh cheese sit on the cheesecloth for about an hour or till all the liquid leaves the cheese.
- Transfer into airtight jars and store in the fridge.