Monday, February 2, 2015

hamemade cheese part 2-ricotta

On the weekend my daughter Nikole and I made homemade mozzarella cheese from the kit that was part of my Christmas present from her and Brad.  So after we finished with our mozzarella cheese we saved our whey.  I remembered reading somewhere about how many beneficial things that could be done with whey and I found a website that described making ricotta from the leftover whey.  While I was reading through the comments I found another commenter talked about using the whey leftover from the ricotta to make a third cheese.  I decided to make the ricotta and then tomorrow I will make the third cheese since that one needs to simmer for hours and I will start it in the morning and have all day. 

Making ricotta was described as foolproof and it certainly was easy.  The whey that we saved was heated to a boil, allowed to cool a bit (to below 140°)  and then strained to separate the very tiny curds from the whey.  That is it.  No special watching the thermometer, nothing to add to it.  It was very easy.  It did not make a lot of cheese but it was easy and fun. 

here is the whey in my large kettle

boiling whey
 The directions suggested straining the cheese in a coffee filter which is what I started with but it was very, very slow so I switched to cheesecloth and that went much more quickly. 
straining in a coffee filter

switched to cheesecloth
 When most of the whey had flowed through the cheesecloth I gathered up the corners and suspended it in the air and allowed for a bit more whey to be released from the curds.
suspending the cloth to drain more whey
While the ball of curds were suspended I did gently squeeze the cheesecloth to remove even more whey.   This is the ball of ricotta curds in the cheesecloth.
ricotta curds
 This is the bowl of my stand mixer that I used to catch the whey from the ricotta.  Still a large amount of whey left over. 
whey from the ricotta
 This is the ricotta.  It filled my 1/2 cup measure perfectly.

Source: original recipe can be found here.


  1. I have never made cheese, I thought it would be much harder. Now you have my wheels turning!

  2. Kim, This was my first attempt at mozzarella (because I have not had the rennet tablets and other kit ingredients) but I have made marscapone cheese before and you don't even need a kit. It is very easy and it uses regular ingredients from the grocery store. I don't think I have blogged about it but I will look for my recipe. Are you familiar with Marscapone cheese? It is kind of like cream cheese. I think it only takes milk (or cream?) and lemon juice. It would make a great first time cheese if you are thinking about giving it a try.