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Aug 14, 2006 09:07 PM

ricotta cheese

Has anyone made a successful home-made ricotta cheese?

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  1. I just made quark over the weekend. It's just like ricotta but not grainy. I got this quark maker from the German Corner in Oregon - check my post from last week "Quark - It's Not Just a Sub-Atomic Particle" - quark is so wonderful.

    1. Sure, I make ricotta. I was going to say "all the time" but that isn't really true. I can say that I never buy it anymore. There are two versions...that made with the leftovers from making Mozzarella and that made straight from milk. Same process, but lower yield if you first get a batch of mozz out. Personally, mozz is lost on me, so while I do make it, I don't do so for personal consumption.

      So, it's as easy as milk, salt, citric acid heated to 190F; turn off heat and let the curds form; drain in a very fine membrane (like a coffee filter, or layers of cheesecloth). You can use lemon juice (or even vinegar, but yuk) if you don't have citric acid. Figure 1/4 tsp citric acid per qt of milk. Lemons vary, so I can't provide a recipe. The easiest way to use lemon juice is to keep adding until the whey is rather clear and all the curds have formed. Like a tablespoon, or so. Doesn't hurt to add more, just makes the lemon flavor more pronounced.

      1 Reply
      1. re: SteveT

        I make a fresh cheese which is very similar to ricotta using about 1/4 cup lemon juice for 2 quarts milk - then proceed as SteveT suggests. I usually heat to 180 but as long as it curdles...

        Here's a link to a lemon cheese recipe from New England Cheesemaking Supply Co.

      2. I love quark, but it is quite different from ricotta. Quark is more like a thick sour cream or creme frache. It is much creamier and richer than ricotta; therefore, I use the two quite differently. SteveT's post on the straight milk method is what I use to make whole milk ricotta and Indian paneer. It becomes ricotta after draining. Then I press it for paneer.

        2 Replies
        1. re: PBSF

          Does that mean I can use pressed ricotta in place of paneer?

          1. re: cheryl_h

            I have pressed commercial ricotta to for fillings, etc, and it doesn't the firm texture of paneer. Since most of the commercial ricotta are made from the wheys left over from the making of mozzarella, (and much of commerical mozzarella is made with skim milk), it is less rich than homemade ricotta using whole milk/lemon juice. Maybe if one press it for a longer period, it will firm up.