Ricotta is a staple in my house. I use it mixed with crushed fruit or topped with jam over toast or muesli. I mix it with spinach and fetta for pies, make a quick 15 minute start-to-finish gnocchi or add it to roasted vegies in a salad. And that’s all before I use it in pancakes, desserts, or cakes.
As easy as it is to buy it, it’s even easier to make and takes just 30 minutes. If you don’t fancy a trip to the supermarket just so you can make some pancakes, try this next time.
Any milk will do but full fat milk works better than 2% or skim. You can also use goat’s milk. The one milk you can’t use is UHT milk, or any milk that has been pasteurised though a UHT process. The milk solids won’t pull together once it’s been through such a treatment.
I used a litre of milk and got about 150g ricotta and about 600ml whey. Don’t throw the whey out – add it to bread mixtures, scone doughs, pancakes or cake mixtures in place of water or milk.
I used lemon juice, but white vinegar is just as effective and saves you having to slice into a lemon. Citric acid is also very good for creating curds, but is a more expensive option.
- 1 litre (4 cups) milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar
- 1 tsp sea salt
Place the milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the milk up to just below boiling, where the milk is frothy on top and bubbling around the edges, with a skin forming on top. Remove the milk as soon as it reaches this point.
Add the lemon juice or vinegar and stir well. Leave the milk undisturbed for 15 minutes, during which time the milk solids will gather together and the yellowish whey will separate out.
Line a sieve with a clean chux cloth and place over a large bowl. Carefully pour the curds into the sieve and allow the whey to drain into the bowl. Scatter with salt and leave the ricotta curds to drain for another 15 minutes or longer. Gather up the cloth around the curds and squeeze gently to remove as much liquid as possible.
From there you can use the ricotta immediately in your favourite recipe or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Pour the whey into a separate airtight container or bottle and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
$1.20 for 150g ricotta