Make Ricotta Cheese with the Instant Pot SMART & DUO (or any pot)
Ricotta does not need a pressure cooker- it can be made with any ‘ol pot with lots of supervision and stirring – but the automated programs of Instant Pot makes the process soooo much easier!
Both the Instant Pot DUO and SMART have a setting under the yogurt function that brings the milk slowly up to the perfect temperature (80°C or 176°F) needed for making fresh ricotta cheese. If you don’t have either of these pressure cookers, follow the alternate instructions with a thick-bottomed pot (or your pressure cooker base) from the recipe, below.
Real Ricotta, at least is in Italy, is not actually made directly from milk – it is made with what’s left after making mozzarella cheese. That’s why when you buy water buffalo milk mozzarella, here, often they’ll throw in a tub of ricotta for free. In fact “Ricotta” means “cooked again.” What we’re doing here, is cooking the milk only once to short-cut our way straight to the ricotta phase. So save the strained liquid – it’s still full of proteins and nutrients that you’ll want consume.
- Serves: 8 oz. (250g)
- Serving size: ¼ cup (75g)
- Calories: 108
- TOTAL Fat: 8g
- TOTAL Carbs: 2g
- Sugar Carbs: 2g
- Sodium: 52mg
- Fiber Carbs: 0g
- Protein: 7g
- 1 quart (1L) high quality whole milk
- 1 lemon, squeezed (about 4 tablespoons of juice)
- 1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt (optional)
- Add the milk to the Instant Pot, close the lid and set the valve to "vent."
- Push the [Yogurt] button and then [Adjust] until the display says the words "boil"
- Once the program is finished (in 20-30 minutes depending on the starting temperature and quantity of milk), remove the Instant Pot stainless steel insert and put on a trivet on the counter.
- Mix-in the salt, if using, using a high-heat resistant spatula or clean wooden spoon stirring it in well.
- Pour in half of the squeezed lemon juice and stir slowly and delicately - the milk should begin to coagulate (as in the pictures, below). If nothing happens after about two minutes, add the rest of the lemon juice and keep stirring slowly.
- Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, or a regular strainer lined with a fine cheesecloth (or unbleached paper towel, or coffee filter) - let strain from 5 to 15 minutes (depending on how fine the strainer is) until only the milk solids remain. Do not squeeze or push.
- Using a spatula, or spoon, pull the outer edges of the ricotta towards the center to form a small round loaf.
- Flip onto a small serving dish or plastic refrigerator container - where it will keep for up to 5 days.
- Save the strained liquid and use in any pressure cooker recipe in place of stock (for example to make rice) or in place of water for future baking projects.
- Add milk to the pot and place on medium-low heat.
- Stir often to ensure the milk does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Using a thermometer monitor the temperature of the milk until it reaches 80°C or 176°F (this is before it boils).
- Once the correct temperature is reached, remove the pot from the heat
- Follow the remaining instructions above, starting with step 4.