Homemade Ricotta Cheese

This is one of the best recipe finds I’ve stumbled upon in the last few months. Homemade ricotta cheese?  I imagined the process would be more complicated, so I was surprised to see how easy this recipe is. You just need milk, lemon, slat and cheesecloth Homemade mascarpone is next, so I can indulge Mariano with some Tiramisu for his upcoming birthday.

This is an incredibly creamy ricotta, which I have only slightly adapted from the original recipe.  It said to add 1/2 teaspoon of coarse salt, which I found to be too bland. 1 1/2 teaspoons is right for my taste, but you can try making it as the original suggests. You can always add the salt later, as I did.  Once the cheese is done, you can mix in the salt using a wooden spoon.

I enjoyed mine with olive oil and salt, with rhubarb jam I recently made, or with sundried tomatoes and a little dry basil would also be amazing.  Go ahead, try it!

(Also, the recipe says the cheese will keep for 3-4 days, but mine lasted for a little longer than a week and it was fine)

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Homemade Ricotta Cheese
Adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen
Makes about 1 generous cup of ricotta

Ingredients:
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Procedure:

  1. Pour the milk, cream and salt into a 3-quart nonreactive saucepan. Attach a candy or deep-fry thermometer. Heat the milk to 190°F, stirring it occasionally to keep it from scorching on the bottom.
  2. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice, then stir it once or twice, gently and slowly. Let the pot sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.
  3. Line a colander with a few layers of cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl (to catch the whey). Pour the curds and whey into the colander and let the curds strain for at least an hour. At an hour, you’ll have a tender, spreadable ricotta. At two hours, it will be spreadable but a bit firmer, almost like cream cheese. (It will firm as it cools, so do not judge its final texture by what you have in your cheesecloth.)
  4. Discard the whey, or, if you’re one of those crafty people who use it for other things, of course, save it. Eat the ricotta right away or transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.  This cheese will keep for 3-4 days.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

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