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Dec 16, 2012

Guest Post: Homemade Ricotta

Hey everyone!  
Shannon's blog-sitting for me while I'm caught up with one crisis after another. (I can't wait for this year to end ... seriously). 

If you haven't met her by now, hop over to her mostly gluten-free blog, JustAsDelish ... totally healthy and inspiring and get acquainted with one of the sweetest people I've met. 
She's also the reason behind my falling in love with quinoa! And she recently came out runner-up in the Nutriplus baking competition with her fancy mushroom quiche! I can tell you she'd had a better year than I did. Yay for her! 

So, enjoy reading her wonderful post, get inspired and run off to your kitchens and try your hand at making homemade ricotta. 

Here she is ....

Hello, all you Ping's Pickings readers! I'm Shannon from A gazillion thanks to Ping for asking to me guest post on her fabulous blog. As this is my 1st guest post, I was pretty nervous when she asked. I'm very honoured to do so but I was undecided on which recipe to share because she's such a fabulous cook & baker. Hmm.. what recipe for Ping?
One of the things I enjoy is making food from scratch.. food that is sold in the jars/cans - like condensed milk, peanut butter, yogurt. If a factory can produce them, there should be a recipe for me to try at home. There's nothing more satisfying to me than making them fresh. So what's more apt than sharing a "made from scratch" recipe - Homemade Ricotta Cheese.
Ricotta is a soft Italian curd cheese, light and creamy with a slightly grainy texture and delicate flavour. Making fresh cheese is easier than you think.  If you know how to make Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese), the recipe is almost similar with milk & an acid (lemon juice or vinegar). Making ricotta needs 2 extra ingredient - plain yogurt and cream. Adding cream did indeed give an even richer edge. It's also possible to make ricotta with just milk, it will be less indulgent & 'healthier'. 
When I suggest to my friend Tracy to make her own Ricotta cheese for her ravioli, she look at me dumbfounded. Making Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli calls for a large amount of ricotta, and a very good 200g ricotta costs RM30 (USD10). She don't believe me how easy (and cheap) it is until I demonstrated to her. In 10 minutes with very little effort, we have a lovely mound of freshly made, still warm ricotta for the price of 1 liter of milk. We tested 2 batches of ravioli with store-bought & freshly made ricotta, and the ones with homemade ricotta win hands-down!
Homemade ricotta makes a wonderful base for Italian cheesecakes, ravioli fillings, and lasagna. Serving slightly warm ricotta over berries or peaches with a drizzle of honey makes a lovely dessert.
For the upcoming Christmas dinner parties & year end celebration, try serving freshly made ricotta accompanied with some stewed fruit compote or poached fruits. Trust me, your guests will be very impressed.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese
Makes: about 200g Ricotta Cheese


1 liter whole (full cream) Milk
1/2 cup (125ml) plain Yogurt
1/2 cup (125ml) Cream - Optional
1 teaspoon vinegar (or lemon juice)
1/2 teaspoon salt


1. In a large pot, bring the milk, yogurt, cream (if using), and salt to a soft boil. 
2. Add in vinegar (or lemon juice) and boil for 1-2 two minutes, or until the milk curdled.
3. Meanwhile, line a strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth and set it over a deep bowl/pot.
4. Pour the milk mixture into the strainer and let drain for 15 minutes. Gather the cheesecloth around the curds and squeeze gently to extract any excess liquid. And you have warm fresh ricotta 

* Homemade ricotta is best served slightly warm, or keep it refrigerated for up to three days, if desired.

* The liquid that is drained out is whey. You can throw it out, or I save it to use in place of milk for my cooking & baking.


  1. That looks amazing Shannon, I love adding ricotta cheese with olives into my salad but as you said they are pretty pricey, I am going to try this soon!

  2. I haven't taste on ricotta cheese. Great tips on making it and I'm sure one day I need it. Thanks!

  3. I have long been longing to make this at home and resisted, because it looked too complicated and I needed some special ingredients. I love recipes I don't have to hunt down special ingredients for. I am very delighted with this. Thank you Ping, and thank you Shannon! I will credit you both when I make this. Ping I am sorry you are having a rotten time. Mine has not been much better. I had injury, pain and now we have a major flood in the house for the holiday... We should be comparing notes one of these days. Misery just loves company... no?

  4. Sorry to hear that the crisis continues. Its getting close to year end, hang in there and wish 2013 will be better.
    I've never tasted fresh ricotta, I am sure it tastes delicious

  5. Man I haven't made homemade ricotta in forever! I was just saying the other day that I haven't made a lasagna in awhile...maybe I'll just have to do both! THanks for sharing, looks great :)

    Happy Valley Chow

  6. Ping, I'm so sorry to learn about another crisis... I was wondering if you were busy or travelling (haven't seen you much on internet), but I thought this year's problems were finished. I cross my fingers for the New Year to be free of worries!
    Shannon, I am not a fan of ricotta, but I am sure the home-made version tastes much better than what we buy. I am always glad to see other people who are not afraid to prepare usually ready-bought food from the scratch. I make fresh curd cheese in a similar way (without yogurt though and I don't cook the milk only warm it; such a small difference but a difference). I am wondering what it the difference in the final taste... Thanks for sharing this easy recipe. I am sure you have inspired many ricotta fans.

  7. Ping, thanks again for giving me the opportunity to guest post. Hope your readers love this recipe as much as I do.

    Jeannie: Thanks. I'm sure the flavours of your salad would be more intense with fresh ricotta. I've never eaten ricotta salad, thanks for the idea.

    Zsuzsa: You are most welcome. Hope you enjoy this easy ricotta recipe.

    Sissi: The fresh curd cheese method sounds delicious too. would love to try your recipe soon.

  8. Ah it's true, ricotta is so expensive in KL supermarkets. Will try this the next time I need ricotta in a recipe.

  9. I love ricotta! I still remember the first time i had ricotta chessecake - in melbourne, st kilda, one of those italian cafes. It was simply the best cheesecake i have ever had. Tanks for this recipe, cant wait to try. Ping, so sorry to hear that things are challenging for you, hope the light at the end of the tunnel is near.

  10. Ping, I'm so sorry you have another crisis going on! Fingers crossed that 2013 is a better year. xo

    PS...Shannon, your ricotta looks marvelous!!!

  11. Shannon, aiyoyo! The supermarket will run out of business lah! Heh..heh...seriously, I didn't know we can make ricotta ourself. This is great, a must try! Hey, Ping! Sorry you are having a hard time. I do hope that it will come to pass soon. Hang in there!

  12. I would not have thought it was so easy. On my to do list.

  13. I really prefer to make cheese at home, too bad not all of them can be made at home :D

  14. Well this definitely sounds easy enough and I bet it taste much better than the premade ricotta. I think you just convinced me to give it a try! Thanks for the inspiration as always Shannon!

  15. I love ricotta cheese but never thought of making it at home. I really admire that Shannon always like to and tries to make food from scratch. I'm sure homemade one is much more delicious, and the best part is that you can control the way you like it. Thank you for showing us how to make it Shannon! Ping, I hope all is okay with you. Happy Holidays to you both!

  16. hi ping, hope all is well with you. Didnt know that it's so simple to made, very helpful and a great post! Wish next year will be a better year for us, all the best in year 2013!

  17. I was so tickled to find your recipe, I made a batch right away. (It's draining as we speak... can't wait to cook with it!) Thanks for a great guest post, Shannon! Ping, it's heartwarming to see the foodie community rallying around you... take care.