Updated: Mar 5, 2020
If there's one thing you should know about me its that I love cheese. Almost as much as I love pasta. Actually I'm not sure if I've ever thought about which I love more until right now and its honestly breaking me to try to decide.
Anyways, ricotta is one of the few cheeses that is really easy to make at home. It only takes about 30 minutes to do and you don't need any fancy equipment or ingredients! Make it for family and friends and you're sure to impress everyone, little do they know the process is very simple.
- 1 quart of whole milk
- 1 cup of heavy cream (you can use half and half or light cream too if you prefer)
- 1tbsp of salt
- 1/2 tbsp of sugar
- 1/4 cup of white vinegar (you can use apple cider vinegar or lemon juice but you'll get a looser curd)
- fine mesh strainer
- cheese cloth (optional - I usually don't use one)
- candy thermometer (optional - I usually don't use one)
- Mix milk, cream, salt, and sugar in a pot
- Heat until you start to see bubbles forming on the sides of the mixture
- Stir for a few minutes, prevent mixture from coming to a complete boil
- Once mixture starts to bubble up, turn off heat and pour in vinegar
- Stir gently, you will notice curds already starting to separate
- Let mixture set for at least 15 minutes, undisturbed
- Hold fine mesh strainer over the sink and gently scoop curds out of the pot and into the strainer, letting whey drain out (you can save the whey if you want)
- Transfer drained curds into airtight container and refrigerate
- Let cheese set in the fridge for at least a few hours if not over night, then it should be firm, creamy, and ready to enjoy!
Notes: Heavy cream creates a richer, more decadent flavor but half and half or light cream will result in a firmer curd. Likewise, using an acid other than white vinegar, in my experience, results in a very loose curd which is more difficult to strain. If you don't use white vinegar as your acid I would recommend adding a cheese cloth on top of your mesh strainer so that you don't lose any curd in the straining process.
Fresh ricotta will keep for about a week so use it well. Stuffed pastas, on pizza, with toast and fruit, I eat it with everything!