Homemade Fresh Ricotta

Homemade Fresh Ricotta Photo: Tim Elwin

Homemade Fresh Ricotta
Photo: Tim Elwin

Making fresh ricotta is super easy and unlike most of the supermarket brands, yours will not contain any milk solids or preservatives

Makes just over 2 cups


  • 2 litres Good Quality, Fresh Full Cream Milk
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice or white vinegar (the cheap stuff)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of sea salt

What you’ll need


Pour the milk into a pot and and place on a medium heat.  Now this is about the hardest part of the recipe; Let the milk to slowly get to 94°C but watch it closely, you don't want it to get over 94°C and definitely don't want it to boil because if you cook it too much it will turn to mush and not set properly.

As soon as it hits that magical temperature, remove the pot from heat and pour in the lemon juice (or vinegar) and the salt. Then gently to mix through. NOTE: if you like a firm ricotta, use all of the lemon juice but if you prefer it a little more creamy then start with a ¼ of cup of the lemon juice.

Allow the milk mixture to sit for around 10 minutes then check to see if the curds (the white silky cheese) has separated from the whey (the watery liquid). Let the pot sit undisturbed for 10 minutes.

Using your slotted spoon, check to see that the milk has separated into curds (chunks of white) and a thin, watery, yellow-colored whey. If you still see a lot of un-separated milk, add another tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar and wait a few more minutes.

Fresh Ricotta straining in a basket Photo: Tim Elwin

Fresh Ricotta straining in a basket
Photo: Tim Elwin

Basket Strainer Method

Set a strainer over the sink and scoop out the large chunks of curd from the pot with the slotted spoon and place them gently into the strainer. Then gently pour the remaining curds through the strainer allowing the whey to pass down the drain.

Pasta Colander Method

Set a strainer over the sink and line the strainer with muslin cloth or clean chux etc. Scoop the large curds out of the pot with the spoon and gently place them into the strainer. Gently pour the remaining curds and the whey through the strainer.

Allow the ricotta to drain for 10 - 20 minutes then use for whichever dish you want or refrigerate for up to a week in a sealed container.

© Tim Elwin 2015