Sunday, August 21, 2011

Homemade ricotta cheese

I've started looking into making homemade cheese. We originally eliminated cheese and other dairy products from our diet due to my youngest's food allergy. Now, she is older and I am again craving the dairy.

We are also looking into trimming our food budget. We currently spend at least $25 a week on dairy products, excluding milk. I'd like to see if we can decrease that amount.

I started my experimentation with ricotta. It's a soft cheese that doesn't require enzymes, thus eliminating a need to purchase additional ingredients.

I doubled the Smitten Kitchen's recipe and this was the result:

IT WAS AMAZING!! More after the jump ...

In a medium saucepan, I mixed:

7 cups of whole milk (pasteurized, not ultra-pasteurized)
1 cups of cream
1 teaspoon of salt

(Keep in mind, those quantities are doubled from the original recipe.)

I brought the milk slowly to 190F, keeping a watch with my thermometer.

I removed the pan from heat, added 7 tablespoons of lemon juice and let it sit for 5 minutes

After 5 minutes, I poured the pan over cheese-lined colander. The colander sat on a large soup pot, to catch the whey. The mixture sat on cheesecloth for two hours.

I added chopped leek (from the garden) and let it sit in the fridge.

This cheese was flavorful. As the cheese sat for a few days, it took on a great flavor from the leeks. The cheese was slightly runnier than I would have liked, but it tasted great on dipped homemade bread. I really wish my elder daughter would have dug in. This would be an easy, nutritious snack. But, she was put off by the taste.

Still, I consider it a success! I may make it again and have her give it another try. Now, on to homemade mozzarella.


  1. Super fun times! I wish we could have you over for a dinner party, snail mailer.