Homemade Ricotta Cheese

So you know how we went to Arkansas last weekend for the holiday and I got that enormous tree log splinter stuck in my thigh?

Well I have good news. We got the splinter out. And then we made cheese. And the cool thing was, the very tools and chemicals we used to get the splinter out of my swollen haunch were the exact same ones for cheese making!

That joke even grossed myself out.

Okay so technically I did not make this cheese. I begged and begged like a little kid doin’ the rubber chicken to my super amazing sister-in-law Carolyn to pleaaaaaaaaaase pleaaaaaaase pleaseleaselsese make ricotta cheese so I can watch and get learnt. She’s like, a CHEESE maker, you guys. She has a dairy thermometer and everything. And sleek blonde hair that makes you want to shave your own head and give up on life but that’s not rightly important right now.


My job, however in this ricotta cheese making was vitally crucial. Besides having a camera all up in her biz, it went down a little bit like this:

Me, “Okay so basically this is like cheese pee.”

Her, “Bev, stop.”

Me, “Oh oh oh. Check it. There’s no WAY we can WEIGH all this WHEY. Hahaha!”

Her, “Are you even watching what I’m doing?”

Me, “So if we ate those curdle thingies right now would we die?”

Her, “I dunno, Bev. EAT SOME AND LET’S FIND OUT.”


I love Carolyn.

It’s actually surprising how easy it is to make ricotta cheese. A little heated milk and cream, some lemon juice and about four Laverne and Shirley episodes later and leapin’ frickin’ lizards.

We added a little bit of minced garlic because we’re such zany gals like that!

Okay see all that liquid separation? THAT is the whey. The acid of the lemon juice combined with the milk causes the curds to magically appear like the face of God. And listen. I learned something. Ricotta cheese is sometimes (or mostly) made FROM the whey of milk. You curdle the actual whey and you get ricotta. Isn’t that cool?

It was wheying on my heart to tell you that.

(you had to see it coming.)

So there are the curds. So fluffy! I wanted to wiggle my fingers in them like Amélie but Carolyn looked at me with blood coming out of her eyes so I refrained.

Cheeeck it out! This was actually about five hours later as we got distracted because it rained for the first time since 1845. You should know, the longer it sits, the harder it becomes. Just like the lining of my soul.

You guys, insane. A little drizzle of olive oil with a good pinch of salt and pepper and a sprinkle of fresh parsley and you’re seriously left with a new sense of clarity and life direction.

My husband even ate some! Do you even realize the milestone in which we’ve doth reached? It’s like I’m a PUPPET MASTER. HooohahahaHAHAHAAAA.

Just give me a shovel already.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese:

What it took for roughly one cup:

* 3 cups whole milk (preferably not ultra-pasteurized if you can find it)
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 3 Tbs. lemon juice
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 1/2 tsp salt
* cheesecloth

Heat the milk and cream to the point right before a simmer. Is you’re using a dairy thermometer (which Carolyn highly recommends), the temperature will need to reach 190. It’s very important to get it to this temperature or else you’ll grow an extra head by morn’. You don’t want to boil the milk.

Add the lemon juice, the minced garlic, and salt and lightly stir to combine. Turn the heat off and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.

Place the cheesecloth in a strainer over another pot and pour the cheese curds into the cheesecloth, draining the whey into the pot.

Let the ricotta sit in the cheesecloth for two hours.

Serve on bread or with a spoon or your finger. Garnish with honey, oil, fresh parsley, a pinch of salt and pepper.

Nothin’ like it.

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45 Responses to Homemade Ricotta Cheese

  1. Carolyn July 13, 2012 at 8:26 am #
    This is perfectly put together Bev! I love it!!! It was so much fun watching you work, we need to make a habit of this partnership!
  2. Villy @ For the love of Feeding July 13, 2012 at 8:29 am #
    This is EPIC Bev!! Too bad we didn't see her sleek blond hair as well! :)
  3. Ashley July 13, 2012 at 8:40 am #
    This is so cool! I've been obsessed with the idea of making cheese, but always wuss out!!
  4. Brian @ A Thought For Food July 13, 2012 at 8:46 am #
    You crack me up. Too freakin' funny. :-) I am all about making ricotta cheese, though the process I used was a little different. Next time, i'm trying this recipe out.
  5. Ali @ Gimme Some Oven July 13, 2012 at 8:51 am #
    Whoa -- this is crazy! But cool! I'm afraid I would eat even MORE cheese if I knew how to make it homemade...
  6. juliawannabe July 13, 2012 at 8:56 am #
    I have got to try this... You are crazy Girl and I love it. You make me laugh out loud. Why dont you apply for a spot on the Food Network? You could be the next Network Star :)
  7. Liz July 13, 2012 at 9:01 am #
    Snarf! This looks so good!
  8. Annamaria July 13, 2012 at 9:07 am #
    I've made homemade ricotta before and I can testify that it is delicious. This looks so good.
  9. Sommer@ASpicyPerspective July 13, 2012 at 9:29 am #
    I think you've just found your purpose it life... making amazing cheese for the rest of us! I'll be the test-taster!!
  10. Laurie {Simply Scratch} July 13, 2012 at 10:26 am #
    NOTHING beats homemade ricotta! I could eat it by it's self with a spoon! Beautiful shots Bev :)
  11. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. July 13, 2012 at 10:38 am #
    I've been wanting to try this! It looks pretty freakin' awesome!
  12. Lori July 13, 2012 at 10:40 am #
    My only cheese-making adventure has been Alton Brown's recipe for yogurt cheese (which is called labne, right? I dunno). It was sooooo good. Just had a thought...your recipe with garlic would be AWESOME in some homemade ravioli...or lasagna...dang woman.
  13. Deanna B. July 13, 2012 at 12:08 pm #
    Homemade ricotta is the best. Slightly warm with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of salt=heaven.
  14. Kathryn July 13, 2012 at 12:21 pm #
    I've been meaning to make ricotta for ages especially know I've seen your pics. Look at all that creamy cheesy goodness!
  15. Averie @ Averie Cooks July 13, 2012 at 12:33 pm #
    homemade cheese? you get the DIY award of the month!
  16. kari@Loaves and Dishes July 13, 2012 at 1:39 pm #
    Is there anything more satisfying than freshly made ricotta? I can't think of a thing right now.
  17. Kathleen Richardson July 13, 2012 at 1:46 pm #
    Yum, yum, yum. I actually like the idea of something you can leave alone for several hours. Then you walk into the kitchen and act surprised--Omigosh, it's done; let's eat some right now! Keep writing...
  18. brandi July 13, 2012 at 1:57 pm #
    wait. he ate cheese? this is, like earth-shattering, right? is the world ending? i've made super quick and easy ricotta in the microwave before, but i wonder how different this is. tell your sis-in-law to please come to my house next weekend and give me a lesson, too.
  19. Katie July 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm #
    No waaaaay. I had no idea one could make ricotta cheese...I suppose I thought it just came out of the cow all pre-made and packaged and stuff.
  20. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar July 13, 2012 at 2:39 pm #
    I've been wanting to try this for a while now. It sounds so fun!
  21. Cookie and Kate July 13, 2012 at 3:18 pm #
    I just posted my first recipe containing ricotta today because, truth be told, I'm not a huge fan. But but but! I think that's because I've never tasted fresh ricotta. I'm saving this recipe for when the weather cools down!
  22. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious July 13, 2012 at 3:25 pm #
    Homemade ricotta? And I actually have the ingredients already! Totally trying this tonight!
  23. Katie @ Blonde Ambition July 13, 2012 at 3:35 pm #
    Once I get my hands on some cheese cloth, this is soooo happening.
  24. Heather at FarmgirlGourmet July 13, 2012 at 3:43 pm #
    You're right...so easy. So delish. Nothin like it in this world. And thanks for making me snort coffee from laughing so hard. You slay me Bev! xo Heather
  25. Michelle July 13, 2012 at 6:00 pm #
    AWESOME! I need to make this!
  26. Jenny July 13, 2012 at 7:59 pm #
    Whoah!!! He ate CHEESE!!!!!! Blow me down. This looks freaking fantastic and I want some in my face hole now!
  27. DessertForTwo July 13, 2012 at 8:29 pm #
    Yum! Uhhhh, your stove is WAY too clean. Stop that!
    • Bev Weidner July 14, 2012 at 8:07 am #
      Oh it's not my stove! This was all in my sister-in-law's kitchen in Arkansas. ;)
  28. marla July 14, 2012 at 9:01 am #
    Oh that splinter sounded awful. This cheese however ~ yes please!
  29. megan @ whatmegansmaking July 14, 2012 at 3:21 pm #
    This sounds great, and not too difficult! Although really, making cheese always sounds difficult. It seems worth it though :)
  30. Julie @ Table for Two July 14, 2012 at 3:58 pm #
    hahaha this entry made me laugh so hard. your stories are so epic. and that cheese looks so smooth and amazing!
  31. sarah July 14, 2012 at 8:29 pm #
    superlike! I've been wanting to make cheese for a long time. I even bought all the stuff and never did it. My husband reminds me about this quite often. :/ You've inspired me to get to it.
  32. Michelle July 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm #
    OH!!! I gotta make ricotta cheese this looks too easy.... YUM!
  33. Cookin' Canuck July 16, 2012 at 8:54 am #
    Okay, I really, really need to make to try this! The ricotta in the regular grocery store is downright scary, but your sister-in-law's looks like something from an Italian farmhouse.
  34. carrian July 16, 2012 at 10:58 am #
    Pinning this!!! I desperately need to know how to make ricotta! Love it!!
  35. Heather Christo July 17, 2012 at 10:05 am #
    I love you for posting this! I have always wanted to do this at home, and this makes me feel like I could do it no prob!
  36. Valerie July 18, 2012 at 9:02 am #
    So, I could totally use this ricotta in my lasagne, right? 'Cause, if so, I'm gonna seriously break out my pasta machine this weekend and make some killer homemadefromscratch lasagne for the hubster!
    • Bev Weidner July 18, 2012 at 9:10 am #
      You shooooo' could!
  37. Vicky July 19, 2012 at 1:47 pm #
    I've always wanted to make home made ricotta cheese and yours looks sooo good!!! I'm sure the home made kind is wayyyy better than the storebought ones. I've really got to work up the courage and start making my own cheese!


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