Before we start, yes, I use cleaning cloth instead of cheese cloth. It’s not that strange really, some people use hankies in place of cheese cloth, but anyhow… Rest assured that the cleaning cloth has not been used to clean and is thoroughly laundered before it’s put to use straining the curds from the whey. And it works just fine, thank you.
There are those that like their ricotta to have a bit of a tang to it, and there are those that prefer a creamier ricotta. Having made the tangy variety for the Mushroom Pâté, I thought I would sneak in with a creamier homemade ricotta recipe before this month’s Cheese, Please! Recipe Blog Challenge comes to a close.
And I remembered to take photos this time too!
Homemade ricotta cheese recipe by David Lebovitz, as found on the Simply Recipes website.
Ingredients for Creamy Homemade Ricotta
- 2 litres whole milk*
- 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt**
- Optional: 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
Ingredients for Baked Ricotta
- 100g parmesan (finely grated)
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 garlic cloves (finely sliced)
- Handful of pine nuts (lightly toasted)
- 500g ricotta
- 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
Method for Creamy Homemade Ricotta
- In a large pot, bring the milk, yogurt, heavy cream (if using), vinegar, and salt to a boil. Very gently boil for one to two minutes, until the milk is curdled.
- Meanwhile, line a strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth and set it over a deep bowl.
- Pour the milk mixture into the strainer and let drain for 15 minutes. Gather the cheesecloth around the curds and squeeze gently to extract any excess liquid.
- Storage: Homemade ricotta is best served slightly warm, although it can be refrigerated for up to three days, if desired. Makes between 500g to 600g of ricotta.
Method for Baked Ricotta
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Grease four, 1-cup ramekins with butter and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the parmesan, thyme, chilli flakes, salt, sliced garlic and toasted pine nuts. Add the ricotta and stir/mash until it’s completely incorporated with the parmesan. Gently fold in the eggs until combined.
- Spoon the ricotta mixture evenly between the ramekins and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.
- Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before running a butter knife around the edge and turning them upside down and shaking gently to remove from the ramekins. Serve as part of an antipasto platter, as a starter with spiced crackers or for breakfast with sage mushrooms and roasted tomatoes.
* If you can get your hands on unhomogenised milk, use that. If not, then supermarket milk is fine, but choose a whole cream, full fat, non-ultra high temperature (UHT) pasteurised milk to make ricotta or any cheese product at home.
** For making homemade ricotta, whole-milk yogurt is best, low-fat is okay, non-fat won’t work.