Homemade Fresh Cheese

This post was supposed to be about making homemade ricotta, and until recently, I thought that that's what I had made. As it turns out though, the recipes that you commonly find for homemade ricotta are actually something closer to homemade paneer. To be honest, I don't know what kind of cheese this officially is, but read on wikipedia that real ricotta is actually made using whey.

At any rate, making this cheese was very simple. Even more simple, in fact, than making yogurt. I followed this recipe, which is pretty similar to several others that I read.

Basically, you heat milk in a non-reactive pot to 180 degrees, which is the point just before it starts to boil. When you see the first couple bubbles forming in the milk, turn off the heat. Then add your vinegar, stir, and let sit for two hours. At this point, the curds will be separate from the whey. Strain the cheese through a cheese cloth which has been layed over a mesh strainer, and let drain to your desired consistency.

This was my end result:

For the most part, we use ricotta in our household for lasagnas. For this purpose, this cheese is a suitable replacement. I made two batches of this and then made four small lasagnas for the freezer. This saved me two plastic ricotta containers that I would normally have used in this recipe and had to recycle.

The total active work time for this recipe is about 10 minutes, so if you have some extra milk lying around and a tiny amount of vinegar, give it a shot. You can play with different moisture contents depending on what you want to use it for. You could try eating it as a replacement for cottage cheese if you left a little more moisture in it, or squeeze it under a heavy bowl of water to make paneer. When I try these things, I will let you know how it goes.

According to the wiki article linked above, I should also be able to use the whey to make real ricotta, so I may try that out since I have two jars of it in my fridge left over from this cheese experiment.

Have you made any kind of cheese before? What did you make?


  1. Hooray for home cheesemaking! I just started making cheese at home this year also. So far we've done ricotta, paneer, queso fresco, feta and mozzarella (hope to get that post up this weekend).

    1. Wow, your blog looks really great! I am hoping to try more advanced cheeses soon so I'm sure I will have it bookmarked!


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