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May 27, 2007 09:16 AM

making fresh ricotta

does anyone have any tips? I've tried 2 different recipes, and I get hard curds instead of creamy gooey.

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  1. Maybe you need to use raw milk????

    1 Reply
    1. re: scunge

      I have tried to make my own also, with varied success. I buy mine from a local italian grocery, and let it drain in cheesecloth before will always be great

    2. Could you be draining it too much? If you want to go from fresh ricotta to ricotta salata, you keep draining, add salt and then press more whey from the cheese to make it harder and drier. If you're just draining without pressing into a block, you're just getting dry cheese curds.
      Do you have Paula Lambert's book The Cheese Lover's Cookbook & Guide. Good reference book.

      1 Reply
      1. I've made ricotta three times now and have had a very good result: Use a gallon of whole milk; heat to 180-185 degrees; take off heat; add 1/4 C white vinegar and stir once, gently; cover pot and let sit for one or two hours; skim curds into a strainer or collander lined with cheesecloth; allow to drain one or two hours. Put curds into a plastic or glass bowl and test for creaminess. If too dry, add whole milk a tablespoon at a time until you are satisfied with the consistency. Refrigerate. Enjoy! PS The yield isn't great, about a pound. If you use reduced fat milk the yield is even smaller.

        2 Replies
        1. re: mnosyne

          I will try your recipe too, mnosyne - my problem is the curds are so hard by the time it has curdled, that letting it sit and draining doesn't seem to have any effect - one minute it's milk in a pot and the next it's curds with milky whey and melted butter. Your recipe is very specific about the temperature, but I read the epicurious recipe farmersdaughter posted below, and it less specifically says slowly bring it to a rolling bowl. Is the trick the temperature, or adding the acid after taking it off the heat?

          1. re: megababedeluxe

            I don't know--I'm new at this business myself. I've been using recipes from New England Cheesemaking and other online sources, and I just do what they tell me. I get a bit OCD when trying new things.


        2. Have you tried this recipe from epicurious? This is the one I use and it's been very reliable. I haven't had problems with hard curds.