Homemade Ricotta Cheese

ricotta-cheese  Prep. Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 1 1/2 hours (Seems long, but it’s worth it!)

Yield: About 2 cups delicious Homemade Ricotta cheese.

It may not seem worth the effort…but when you taste it, you’ll never have store bought ricotta again.

 

Ingredients

  • 4 Cups whole milk
  • 2 Cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 4 tbls good white wine vinegar

Directions

  • Set a sieve over a large bowl and line it with 2 layers of dampened cheese cloth.
  • Pour the milk and cream into either a stainless steel or enameled soup pot.
  • Add the salt and over medium heat, bring to a full boil, stirring occasionally.

This is what takes the time…it takes SO long for it to come to a full boil, but hang in there…it’s worth it.

  • Turn off the heat and add the vinegar.
  • Let stand for 1 minute until it curdles and separates into thick parts, (better known as the curds….remember the nursery rhyme “Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet, eating her curds and whey….”?).  The milky parts are the whey.
  • Pour this mixture into the sieve with the cheesecloth and let it drain into the bowl.  Depending on the size bowl you use, you may have to occasionally discard the collected liquid.
  • The longer you let the ricotta drain, the thicker it will get. I like mine on the thicker side and let it drain for 2 hours, at least.
  • Put the ricotta in a bowl, use immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 4 days. Discard all the liquid (whey) and the cheesecloth.

You CAN use whey in some recipes, so if desired…save it in a container in the refrigerator for no more than a few days.

May I suggest…

  • When making homemade pasta sauce, add a scoop or 2 at the very end of cooking time to add tons of flavor and creaminess.
  • Add a spoonful in your next omelet or scrambled egg mixture for a rich flavor and added fluffiness.

I learned something new recently!

If you like ricotta cheese, you’re sure to love Ricotta Salata which is pressed and aged for 3 months.  The result is a much drier cheese…perfect for slicing, crumbling and grating.  It has a firm texture, sharper taste and a salty flavor.  So, want to elevate your next pasta dish?  Grate a little ricotta salata over the top and wait for the smiles.

May I suggest…

  • Crumble it over a plate of fresh greens and sliced beets. Then a squeeze of fresh orange juice and a drizzle of EVOO.
  • Top hot seared asparagus with a little crumbled ricotta salata and dig in as the cheese melts down over those delicious spears.
  • How about topping your next burger hot off the grill with a little crumble?
  • Anywhere you’d use feta cheese…try Ricotta Salata.  Look for it where specialty cheeses are sold.

Skål

I welcome your feedback and comments.  Have a question or specific recipe request?  I’ll be happy to research and find an answer.

 

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