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Thanks to some successful batches of homemade beer, Chris thought he’d up the game this year and gave me a Mad Millie cheese making kit for Christmas. I’ll be sure to review the kit later, once I try a few more recipes, but this week I just wanted to dabble with cheese making, with what could possibly be the easiest cheese to make in the world: Ricotta.

Finished dollop of ricotta

Finished dollop of ricotta. This either looks delicious, or disgusting, depending on who you are.

Now I’ve made ricotta before with lemon juice, but I had much better results this time that I attribute to using citric acid and using a better thermometer. Using a whole gallon, I made around 16 oz. of ricotta, or enough to use for two full-sized lasagna. Plus, if you plan it out, you can use the leftover whey to make a soup, bread, or other random recipes.

And for those of you who might be grossed out by the curdling, or the whey, is to tell you—while this LOOKS like it would be sour, or smell bad—the entire house fills with the smell of warm milk, and the ricotta has a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth taste you will get addicted to. Way better than store bought, and for just the cost of a gallon of milk. 

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Whole Milk Ricotta
Yields 16 oz.

  • 1 gallon whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons citric acid, dissolved in 1/2 cup water
  • Supplies: Thermometer, Cheese cloth, dutch oven, colander,  slotted spoon
  1. Add milk and salt to heavy pot or dutch oven. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until milk reaches 203º. Milk should be foaming. Remove from heat.
  2. Stir in citric acid solution, and let milk sit for 20-30 minutes, until firm enough to transfer to a cheese cloth-lined colander using a slotted spoon.
  3. After 5-10 minutes, remove ricotta. Refrigerate for up to a week.