Make Your Own Fresh Ricotta. It’s So Easy!

I chose ricotta as the first recipe to make into a cooking video for 2 reasons: One, I needed something incredibly fast and easy and Two, I think people deserve to know that ricotta is just one of those things you’re better off making yourself.

I turned to a film student to make Jorj.com’s first official cooking video, and may ask her to follow up with ricotta ice cream w/fruit syrup and baked ravioli recipes.

My video(s) should be ready soon, but in the meantime, let me tell you how fun it was to make this basic cheese ingredient. I tried it myself at home with a friend.

We poured a half gallon of milk into a stock pot and chatted about our summers as it came to a boil. I stirred it. Then as it began to bubble, I added the buttermilk.

We stirred, then waited for 5 minutes. By then, delicious and recognizable ricotta cheese curds had formed. We took them to the sink and strained them into a colander lined with cheese cloth.

Our ricotta now “in the bag” (ha, ha!!), we held it over a cup and collected the last few drips and then transferred it to a bowl.

It was so beautiful! A perfect little blob of delicious cheese. Spoons ready, we tried it and thought that with a grate of lemon zest and chopped herbs, we could eat it right now with crudité or crackers.

But into the fridge it went, where we planned to let it set up to five hours. When it comes out, we had basil, chives and parsley waiting to fold in.

I am told the same kind of scene transpired in the Berman’s kitchen, where their prospective NYU film school student filmed a story about a whole lotta ricotta. She has sweet ingredients for a dessert-y ricotta that she will be tinkering with this week, AND a copy of my book, CANVAS & CUISINE. She and her family loved the artwork in that book, and promised to make something from its pages soon…

Anyway, I would like to officially welcome The Bermans to my culinary Adventureland and thank them for offering their home as stage set, and working with my food blog editor, Jen Russon to produce fresh homemade ricotta.

Here’s the recipe. Video out ASAP. Ciao!

Fresh Homemade Ricotta

15 minute cuisine, plus up to 5 hours to set

Yields 4 to 5 cups

1 gallon whole milk

4 cups buttermilk

1 teaspoon very fine sea salt

In a large stock pot, add the milk and heat to a boil. Stir continuously, so a skin doesn’t form on the milk. Add the buttermilk and salt. Stir and wait 5 minutes for cheese curds to form.

Line a colander with cheese cloth and pour the cheese into it; drain, then tie off into a bag, holding ricotta over a cup or a bowl to collect further drainage.

Place the ricotta in an airtight container and refrigerate for 2 to 5 hours. After it cools and sets, you may add any chopped fresh herbs you like, such as rosemary, chives, basil or parsley. The ricotta may also be enhanced with sweet flavors.

The possibilities are as scrumptious as they are endless!

 

 

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