Homemade Ricotta Cheese
Using only four ingredients, homemade ricotta cheese is unbelievably easy to make, and is far superior to what you can buy in the store. Once you try it, you'll never go back to the commercial ricotta.
Servings: 16 servings
- 4 cups (32 ounces) whole milk (See Tip 1)
- 2 cups (16 ounces) heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 3 Tablespoons white wine vinegar (See Tip 2)
Place a large strainer over a deep bowl. Dampen 2 layers of cheesecloth with water and line the strainer with the cheesecloth. (See Tip 3)
Pour the milk and cream into a stainless-steel or enameled pot such as Le Creuset. Stir in the salt. Bring to a full boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar. Allow the mixture to stand for 1 minute until it curdles. It will separate into thick parts (the curds) and milky parts (the whey).
Pour the mixture into the cheesecloth-lined strainer and allow it to drain into the bowl at room temperature for 20 to 25 minutes, occasionally discarding the liquid that collects in the bowl. (See Tips 4 and 5)
Transfer the ricotta to a bowl, discarding the cheesecloth and any remaining whey. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate. The ricotta will keep refrigerated for 4 to 5 days. Yield: 2 cups.
- I've consistently used whole milk with making the ricotta. I don't know how this would work using low-fat or skim milk.
- You can also use regular white vinegar or lemon juice. However, I wouldn't recommend using a colored vinegar.
- If you don't have cheesecloth, you can use a fine-mesh laundry bag, piece of cotton, thin cotton dish towel or fine-mesh strainer. I've tried using a coffee filter, but it didn't work that well for me.
- This recipe starts with 6 cups of liquid and produces 2 cups of ricotta cheese. Therefore, almost 4 cups of whey drain off. Therefore, you need to watch the liquid level in the bowl and occasionally discard the whey. Whey actually is rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. Therefore, rather than discarding it you might think about adding it to smoothies or using it in making bread.
- The longer you let the ricotta cheese mixture drain, the thicker it becomes. If you prefer your ricotta on the thicker side, gather the cheesecloth into a bundle and press additional liquid from the curds. Alternatively, just let the ricotta drain for another 5 minutes or until the desired consistency is reached.
Calories: 140kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 183mg | Potassium: 103mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 536IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 1mg