I am having so much FUN with my new toy…i.e. Instant Pot! Who knew there were sooo many new things to make, create and experiment with in this pot! Besides countless meals, I’ve made yogurt approx 4 times now and I think that process is my favorite so far…it’s so much better than anything store bought. I love the process and I love the fact that I’m creating something healthy, it’s less costly than store-bought and I’m having fun in the process 🙂 Check out my Greek yogurt post here.
So, this morning I decided to try my hand at making homemade ricotta cheese.
My daughter has a long day of interviews and tests out at the air base today for staff selections with Civil Air Patrol. Midterms were this last week and she still has hours of homework and a research paper to complete this weekend…so I thought, a yummy rich lasagna and homemade french bread would be the perfect dinner when she gets home later this afternoon before she tackles her homework!
I’m incredibly happy with how this ricotta turned out! Such a simple process and I’m happy with the results. I paid .99 for a half gallon of whole milk but I already had the salt and 1/3 cup lemon juice on hand. It may be easier to buy store-bought ricotta, but I know what the wholesome ingredients are in my ricotta and it tastes so fresh and creamy!
Ok, I’ll walk you through the process…
Start with a clean liner pot… now that’s clean! It’s a brand new liner pot…they don’t stay this shiny for long 🙂
Here are your ingredients…just three! The salt is hiding haha
Pour 1 half gallon milk into the liner pot.
I always try to say “liner pot” to remind you that it’s not the Instant Pot base…I’ve heard too many horror stories where people forget the liner isn’t in the base and they add their ingredients to the base…always double-check!!
Ok, moving on… stir in 1-1/2 teaspoons salt. Set lemon juice aside for later.
Place lid on the pot, press Yogurt, Adjust (it should now read BOIL).
My pot took about 20 minutes to heat until it beeped, letting me know it was ready. I used a food thermometer to check the temp, but it wasn’t quite at 180 degrees yet, so I pressed CANCEL, SAUTE (normal setting) and then stirred constantly while checking temp until temp reached 180 degrees. Press CANCEL.
Pour in 1/3 cup lemon juice and give a quick but gentle stir. Now, don’t touch it! Don’t stir it again. Leave it to do it’s thing for about 10-12 minutes. Again, do not stir!
Do you see how the curds and whey are separating? Pretty cool. Yeah,I may be a little bit of a nerd 😉
After waiting 10-12 minutes, get your cheesecloth, strainer and/or nut bag ready. Be sure to use a large enough bowl to contain all the whey…I did not so that’s why you see a bowl with not much whey in the picture. I had to swap bowls.
I use this nut bag and I love it. It’s a great quality and I use it for straining yogurt as well.
Carefully but quickly pour the contents of the liner pot into your strainer/bag. I tie my bag up to help strain more of the whey. I want a thick ricotta cheese.
You can let the ricotta strain for 10-60 minutes…it’s a matter of preference/texture. If your ricotta is too thick, lightly stir in a little whey until it is the correct texture.
Look at this terrific whey! I’ll use some of it later this afternoon to make my homemade French Bread. I’ll store the rest in the refrigerator to be used as a brine for chicken and/or a substitute for milk in pancakes or bread recipes.
Whey has many health benefits.
I let the ricotta strain for approx 45 minutes and I’m happy with the thick crumbly texture.
Now I place it in a bowl, cover and refrigerate.
Now on to making my French Bread and lasagna for dinner.
I hope you enjoyed this post today. This was a fun process and I think I’ll continue to make homemade ricotta cheese instead of buying store-bought…unless I’m making more than 1 lasagna at a time that is 😉 This “recipe” made about 2 cups ricotta.
Please share this recipe with your friends and family. If you make this recipe, please comment below and/or add your own pictures. Thanks for stopping by!
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