Whole Milk Ricotta With Citric Acid: Take Two

From Mary Karlin’s Artisan Cheese Making at Home: For Cheesepalooza Challenge One

Suffice it to say: I DID IT! I made Whole Milk Ricotta with Citric Acid! I did buy new Citric Acid and followed Mary’s instructions to a “T” – at first. I added 1/2 cup of cream, and no more. I added 1 teaspoon of the Citric Acid. Then I do confess, I did add 1/2 a teaspoon more into the milk about 15 minutes into the heating and stirring, and 10 minutes before reaching temperature. I am really glad I did as the ricotta is lovely, tastes really milky and sweet with no hint of lemon or vinegar. It is definitely not “fluffy” and is on the creamy side, even with the extra citric acid, but is really delicious and this is the consistency I really enjoy spreading on toast with a little lovely fruity olive oil and black salt. There was not a hint of the chalkiness I found in the “cream cheese” whole milk ricotta I made by accident when trying this before.

I will not rewrite the recipe, or post. Just leave you with a couple of photos and the tasting notes.

Tasting Notes for Citric Acid Whole Milk:

  • Appearance: looks like wet or cream y ricotta that I usually buy in the store
  • Nose (aroma): very subtle sweet milky scent
  • Overall Taste: difficult to separate the texture from the taste experience – thick luxurious creamy milky flavour, no sensation of richness or fat; very clean flavour
  • Sweet to Salty: very slight sweetness, not salty
  • Mild (mellow) to Robust to Pungent (stinky): extremely mild
  • Mouth Feel: (gritty, sandy, chewy, greasy, gummy, etc.): thick and creamy luxury without the sense of any fat or richness as there is in créme fraÎche, or sour cream or cream cheese, interestingly enough

I really like this recipe and will make it again. However, I really like the control I have become accustomed to with my initial recipe, as well. I had not difficulty making a dry ricotta by adjusting the coagulant (vinegar, or lemon). Hanging it longer will make it dryer, but not “fluffier”. That has to be done with the coagulant at the beginning. Lots to think about depending upon how I want to use the cheese.


  1. says

    That looks great, glad it worked this time. I made mine with just 1 teaspoon of citric acid and it worked. But…it wasn’t fluffy and remained quite moist after even 2 hours of hanging.

    • Valerie says

      Hi, Alanna
      I love it moist, but mine would have been WAY too moist with just one teaspoon – and very fine and very few curds. The more citric acid, the fluffier the curd, right? How are you using yours?

  2. says

    So excited you made this batch work so beautifully. :-) I love homemade ricotta, but haven’t had it in a few weeks. You’ve inspired me to get back to my beloved cheese-making. :-)

  3. says

    I am so happy to read this Vail – the reason I don’t make my own paneer because I cannot stand the smell of lemon and vinegar in it. So glad you blogged this – I am totally coming back for the recipe when I am ready :)

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  4. Blair says

    Looks great Valerie. I find that adding the citric acid after the milk has started to heat – as late as 165F – I get a better yield. It is a great snack, just had some as well!

    • Valerie says

      Thank you, Blair!
      I will try that next time. It did seem odd to add it at the beginning, yet there are oh, so many ways to do this. “Blair’s way” is next!

    • Valerie says

      Hi, Kankana!
      Fresh cheeses all have a lot in common, and then vast differences. I have made paneer, and will be doing it again, soon. That is shockingly similar to tofu. Did you know that? I have made that, too! (Didn’t like it much, though. It was “okay”.)

  5. says

    Interesting info about what makes the curds fluffy or not fluffy! Ours were quite fluffy with just the tsp of citric acid..

    I know with bread making that time and temperature play a huge roll in the end result.. is it the same with cheese? Because we heated ours so slowly that it took around 45 minutes to bring it up to temperature.

    Congrats on your cheese success!

  6. says

    Your ricotta looks so pretty Valerie! You’ve inspired me to look for citric acid powder now and to make another batch of ricotta. While my versions with buttermilk have been very good, they are no where near as delicate and fluffy looking as your version. Well done!

  7. Linda says

    Ooops, sorry, posted this under the original ricotta recipe but my questions pertain more to this post:

    I’ve never made cheese before but I would really like to try. It looks delicous! But I need help. Where do I buy citric acid in the Edmonton area? Also, whole milk, is this the same as homogenized milk? Is grocery store milk okay or should I go to the health food store? Can the recipe can be doubled?

    Thanks for inspiring me,

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