Fresh Ricotta


Last Christmas I received some wonderful food-related gifts from my lovely daughters, who know me so well. One was a Williams-Sonoma “kit” for making ricotta cheese at home.

I know it’s really straight forward to make your own ricotta. It’s the same process as making paneer for Indian food, if you’ve ever done that.

But having a ricotta-making kit makes it more fun. It’s like having a chemistry set. Having been a nerd growing up, I loved my chemistry set and I obviously still love that sort of thing.

Here what came in the box:


The rennet tablets is for using the kit to make mozzarella, which I didn’t do today. The directions are simple. Add 1 teaspoon of citric acid to 1/2 cup of water and dissolve.

Use the enclosed cheesecloth to line a colander.

Boil the pot you’re going to put your gallon of milk in, along with a slotted spoon, for 5 minutes to sterilize. You’re not supposed to use a metal pot.

Empty the pot of the boiling water, then pour in the gallon of whole milk. Add the dissolved citric acid, as well as 1 teaspoon of cheese salt.


Slowly heat the milk, without allowing it to boil, till it reaches 180 – 185 degrees Farenheit.

Turn off the stove at that point and let the pot sit for 10 minutes. Then pour the contents of the pot into the waiting colander.

After just a few minutes, I lifted the corners of the cheesecloth, and you can already see that the ricotta is thickening and forming.

I don’t want a watery ricotta, so I tied up the “bag” of ricotta and hung it from my kitchen sink faucet for about 1 hour. I think this is allowed.


Then I stored the fresh ricotta in a plastic bowl lined with a couple of paper towels.