Fresh Ricotta

by FarmgirlGourmet

You could easily cut down some of the time by using store bought ricotta, but if you’ve ever spent the time to make it homemade, you’ll never buy that tub stuff again! The texture is soft, creamy and a bit sweet. It’s hard to not eat it straight out of the colander or on a giant spoon with a drizzle of honey. Below is my tried and true recipe and I will post the Gnocchi recipe shortly. I hope you give cheese making a shot. It’s not as scary as you think and the results will blow you away!

Fresh Homemade Ricotta

1 tbsp sea salt (untreated) – Trader Joe’s is a great resource
2 c water
1 gallon whole milk
1 16 oz heavy cream
1/3 c lemon juice from 2 lemons (or 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar)


  1. Mix the sea salt and water, until mostly dissolved.
  2. In a large stock pot, add the milk, heavy cream and sea salt water.
  3. Heat over medium-low heat until the milk begins to boil softly. this can take some time, make sure to keep an eye on it or it can scorch.
  4. Add the lemon juice and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. watch for the curds to come to the surface. once you have a thin layer of curds, remove from the heat and let sit undisturbed for 10 minutes.
  5. Place a double thickness of cheese cloth (you can buy this at the local fabric store) in a colander set in the sink. with a slotted spoon, skim the curds off the top and place in the colander. what will remain will be a yellowish colored water. you can feed this to your chickens and cats like it as well, or you can toss it out.
  6. Gather the cheese cloth corners and tie them around a long utensil set over the sink and let drain for 20-30 minutes or until the desired consistency…the longer you hang it, the dryer the cheese. it can be stored in the fridge for only a couple of days so make sure you can use it up. this recipe 

Makes about 4 cups


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Rick February 20, 2013 - 4:41 pm

Just curious, as I’ve never made cheese before, but what do you do with the cheese cloth after? Do you wash it with the towels in the laundry, just rinse it off, or throw it away? Thank you for a great website that can take a novice like me and show me how to make delicious foods. And I love the dog!

FarmgirlGourmet February 20, 2013 - 4:45 pm

Hi Rick, I usually wash it out really well in the sink with mild kitchen soap (low or no perfume). If you wash it in the washing machine, it will take on the smell of your detergent (know this from experience). Not so great when you make that second batch of cheese. Also, a great place to buy it is at the fabric store. You can get it in bulk for far less than the grocery stores minuscule square – which makes chucking it after each batch less painful. Thanks for commenting! Let me know how you like it!! It’s my favorite recipe for ricotta and I’m drooling now just thinking about it. Enjoy! ~Heather 🙂

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