Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Intrigued or curious about how to make creamy, rich, ricotta cheese at home? It’s so easy, you should try it this weekend!

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Homemade ricotta is so rich, so creamy, and believe it or not, sooo easy to make, which is why I think it’s totally worth revisiting… only this time with a video.

Making cheese at home sounds impossibly difficult and time consuming, and I can tell you that after attempting to make homemade mozzarella last summer, it absolutely can be. But ricotta is a different story. In all seriousness – I kid you not – making ricotta from scratch is maybe 1 notch more difficult than boiling water.

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Ricotta is produced when an acid is used to coagulate milk proteins, and the curds get separated from the whey. This can be done with vinegar, lemon juice or buttermilk, and I’ve tried it all three ways. I’ve found that buttermilk makes the creamiest, best tasting ricotta with the most neutral flavor. Since it’s not as strong of an acid and already has a dairy base, it curdles the milk gently and produces a ricotta that’s really smooth, incredibly creamy and light.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese
 
Intrigued or curious about how to make creamy, rich, ricotta cheese at home? It's so easy, you should try it this weekend!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 cups buttermilk
Instructions
  1. Pour the milk, cream and buttermilk into a large pot and gently bring up to a light simmer. As soon as the milk just barely begins to bubble, turn off the heat. You don't want it to actually boil. You will begin to see the milk solids separate and rise to the top. Set aside for a few minutes to cool.
  2. Line a colander with a few layers of cheesecloth or heavy duty paper towels. Use a handheld strainer to remove the curds from the liquid and place into the colander. Allow the ricotta to drain to your desired thickness - the longer it goes, the thicker it will get.
  3. Transfer to a container and refrigerate for up to one week.
Notes
The leftover whey contains lots of protein and nutrients, so store it in a container and add it to smoothies and other recipes in place of water.

 

Nicole Gaffney

Chef, writer, music lover and second runner up on season 10 of Food Network Star. I live at the Jersey Shore and cook simple, seasonal full-flavored food.

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