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Homemade Goat’s Milk Ricotta

Fresh, rich and creamy: goat’s milk ricotta is the perfect accent for summer cooking in the Southern Hemisphere.
By Alexia Kannas

Not being in Greece in the summertime leaves me missing many things; some of them are swimming in temperate waters, drinking before midday, eating watermelon chilled in the village spring and dancing all night at summer bars under the stars, instead of roofs. I also miss cheese.

Living in Melbourne means that I have access to a good number of Greek cheeses; I can always buy Kaseri, Kefalograviera and, of course, feta. But what I really miss are the locally produced, soft, fresh cheeses that you buy by the scoop to spread on bread, or dollop into salads, or bake into pies. The most commonly known is mizithra, but there are different varieties made all over the country that use different combinations of cow, sheep and goat milk to achieve different levels of sharpness and a variety of textures. My favourite, xynomizithra, is a sour version of mizithra that tastes like a tangy incarnation of very fresh, rich ricotta. The best is thought to be produced on the island of Crete, where they use sheep and/or goat milk to make the cheese.

It’s going to be a little while before I can get back there to eat some, so I decided to make my own. To do this, I simply replaced the cow’s milk in a standard recipe for ricotta with fresh goat’s milk and, after a couple of hours of waiting for the cheese to drain, I had something so rich, smooth and delicious that I could hardly believe it. I ate this first batch on grilled ciabatta, sprinkled with smoked sea salt, cracked black pepper and olive oil from the mother country – and it was almost as if I were back there in my grandmother’s kitchen on a warm summer morning, eating a little something at her insistence before heading to the beach. It was magic.

I’m thinking that the next lot (draining right now) might get folded into a filling for honey and cinnamon pastries, but I can’t wait to try this on pizza or as a filling for pasta. This is if I can get past the luxury of eating it on toast, perhaps topped with something sweet and sticky, like rose petal jam or a fresh fig. No matter how I decide to eat it, I feel I’ll be making this all summer long.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Homemade goat’s milk ricotta
 
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
 
This recipe will make around a cup of gorgeously creamy, fresh-tasting goat’s milk ricotta cheese.
Author:
Recipe Type: Cheese
Ingredients
  • 1 litre (34 fl oz) fresh goat’s milk
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
Instructions
  1. Pour the goat milk into a nonreactive saucepan and add the salt. Heat the milk gently over low to medium heat, watching all the while and stirring occasionally so that the bottom doesn’t burn.
  2. When the milk is on the verge of boiling, remove it from heat and add the lemon juice. Stir the mixture once gently to encourage the curds to form before letting the pot sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.While you’re waiting for the milk to become cheese, line a strainer or colander with a double layer of muslin and place it over a large bowl (or in the sink, if you’re not bothered about losing the whey).
  3. Pour the milk mixture gently into the colander and let the curds strain. The ricotta will be ready to eat after an hour of straining, but I preferred the dense, richer texture of mine after almost two. Taste a little to see what you prefer. If you’re making the ricotta for use later, note that it will firm up further in the refrigerator.
Notes
There’s no special equipment required to make this cheese, but you’ll need a yard of cheesecloth or ‘butter muslin’ cloth and a nonreactive pot (stainless steel, clay, enamel – not aluminum). Cheesecloth, or ‘butter muslin’ is an inexpensive loose-weave fabric available at craft and fabric stores, as well as some kitchenware supply stores.

 

Alexia Kannas

Alexia Kannas

Alexia Kannas is a writer and academic based in Melbourne, Australia, who spends her days thinking and writing about cinema - and food. Fascinated by the relationship between food and memory, she writes about how cooking, meals and taste recall moments from film, literature, history and imagination. Her dream dinner-party guests are Jarvis Cocker and all her non-single friends. The two things she fears most are i) guests leaving hungry and, ii) a world without gin.

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Originally Published: December 19, 2011

13 Responses to Homemade Goat’s Milk Ricotta

  1. sara Reply

    December 19, 2011 at 11:23 am

    This looks amazing! I’ve made regular cow’s milk ricotta and loved it but never tried a goat version…I love goat cheese so I bet this would be so good! Now I just need to figure out where I can buy goat milk. :)

  2. Alexia Kannas

    Alexia Kannas Reply

    December 20, 2011 at 2:12 am

    Hey Sara. Thanks for your comment! Amazingly, my local supermarket has started carrying fresh goat milk in the regular dairy aisle, but before that I’d buy it at my fave health food store. It’s so worth it – trust me!

  3. Megan Reply

    February 22, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Alexia, thank you, this is brilliant. Can’t wait to try it…

  4. Alexia Kannas

    Alexia Kannas Reply

    February 29, 2012 at 3:06 am

    Thanks, Megan! Let me know how you go.

  5. Linda Reply

    March 4, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    I followed the recipe exactly but I didn’t get any cheese, just liquid. Help, what did I do wrong?

  6. Alexia Kannas

    Alexia Kannas Reply

    March 6, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Hi Linda! What a bummer this is didn’t work out. Since I posted this recipe, I’ve made it 9 or 10 times and I did have it not work out once; the curds didn’t develop and it was just liquid, like you described. I’m guessing this is an issue with the temperature of milk, as it needs to reach a particular temperature to curdle. If you have a kitchen thermometer (I don’t), you want the milk to reach 180 – 185 degrees before you add the acid (lemon juice/vinegar). One of my sources said that this is the temperature just before boiling point, so I wing it and have nearly always had success. I’ve done a little more research and found this piece at Whisk This on making ricotta: http://whiskthis.com/homemade-ricotta-cheese/ Here Anne Marie actually let hers boil and it still worked out – in fact she has much bigger curds than I’ve achieved, so maybe you could leave the milk on the burner a touch longer. Again, so sorry it didn’t work out on your first go – so disappointing. Do let me know if you try again and I will do so myself.

  7. Linda Reply

    March 10, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Thank you! I do have a thermometer and will try again. Looks and sounds so delicious.

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  9. Caroline Reply

    March 17, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    I read with cow’s milk ricotta that it keeps for about three days in the fridge. Is that the case with goat milk ricotta, too?

  10. Anonymous Reply

    May 7, 2013 at 12:18 am

    I followed your recipe to the letter using a low flame cooking almost 2 hours usingand a thermometer

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  12. Helen Reply

    September 17, 2013 at 12:36 am

    At first I thought I’d done something wrong but it was just that the goat cheese has very fine curds. Cows milk has coarser curds but the cheese came out fine. I ended up just testing some of the liquid and found it was ready. I later saw another site where there was a sample of 3 types of milk and that was helpful too. Thanks for this great recipe.

  13. zosia Reply

    March 16, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Hello :)

    Very happy to have found this site!

    Can you please tell me if it matters which type of goat milk you use for this recipe in terms of fat content?

    Thanks!
    -Zosia

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