Say Cheese! “Homemade Ricotta Cheese”

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Homemade Ricotta cheese is extremely simple to make, and in this post a step by step recipe will take you through the whole process.

This post concludes the three-part post on the Williams-Sonoma, pasta, ravioli, and ricotta cheese demonstration that took place on Aug. 12th.

To view that post > http://ow.ly/6cV5j

Below is the ricotta cheese recipe that was demonstrated, hung to drain and then used to demonstrate how to make homemade ricotta  ravioli using the KitchenAid and its pasta attachments.

The ricotta came out extremely creamy, which enabled us to make some absolutely delicious ravioli. Tossed in a sage, butter sauce and garnished with toasted pine nuts, we made ourselves a real winner.

This is an extremely  fun thing to make especially for “Ricotta Cheese Lovers!”

Have fun and enjoy!


Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Ingredients:

  • whole milk – 8 cups
  • heavy cream – 2 cups
  • lemon juice – 6 tablespoons
  • salt – 4 teaspoons
  • cheesecloth – Cut large enough to line a medium size colander. (several  layers)

 

Procedure:

  • Line a colander with the cheese cloth
  • Place the colander over a bowl to catch the liquid (whey) while it is draining.
Ricotta Cheese - milk and cream addition

Ricotta Cheese – milk and cream addition

In a large heavy gauge stainless steel pot, add the milk and heavy cream. Heat slowly until the mixture reaches 180 degrees.

 Test with a calibrated kitchen thermometer!

“DO NOT BOIL!”

 

 

 

Ricotta Cheese - lemon juice addition

Ricotta Cheese – lemon juice addition

Once the 180° is obtained, lower the flame and stir in the lemon juice.

Add the salt, and allow to simmer one minute more.

This is a crucial part. The liquid should start to slightly clump together at this stage.  If not, leave on the heat as minute or two longer. It will continue to coagulate even once off the heat, but this step is what begins the cheese making process, so be patient.

 

 

 

*Note: The more you agitate the mixture, the tougher the curds will become.

Ricotta Cheese - stage 1

Ricotta Cheese – stage 1

 This cheese does not need to be constantly mixed. Let the ricotta form naturally on its own for a creamy end result.

 

 

 

 

 

Making cheese is all about aging and time.

Ricotta Cheese -  stage 2

Ricotta Cheese – stage 2

Ricotta being one of the quickest of them all so don’t rush it, the ricotta will be all that much better if agitated as little as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

Final cooking stage.

Ricotta Cheese - stage 3

Ricotta Cheese – stage 3

 

Remove pot from the heat, and allow to stand for 20-25 minutes. The curds will begin to really take shape. You will literally start to see the ricotta develop right before your eyes!

 

 

 

Now carefully pour into the cheese cloth lined colander.

Ricotta Cheese - ready for hanging

Ricotta Cheese – ready for hanging

 

Tie up, being careful as to not let any of the soft cheese to seep out.

Now allow to drain.

*Note:  The longer you allow to drain the “drier” the ricotta will become. So keep this in mind, to create a cheese that will have the proper consistency for use in other recipes.  For this recipe, and for the ricotta ravioli that was made from this cheese, we wanted a creamy texture and definitely not “dry”.  The amount of time it should be hung to obtain a creamy workable consistency is approximately 30-40 minutes.

 

 

 

This cheese is extremely versatile, and as we all know, can be used for savory dishes as well as sweet dishes.

Ricotta Cheese  - Williams‑Sonoma cooking demo

Ricotta Cheese – Williams‑Sonoma, cooking demo

Making ricotta cheese from scratch on your own just seems to make it a little more special and much more delicious. Definitely worth the effort!

For some different ways to use your ricotta ->  http://ow.ly/6cUgv

See you at the next Williams-Sonoma cooking demonstration!