I’ve always wanted to try cheesemaking, and I recently found a homemade ricotta cheese recipe that was originally published in the now-shuttered Gourmet magazine. Creative Director Richard Ferretti’s version was so simple, it gave me the courage to make a batch — no rennet or thermometers needed! Since then I’ve made several pounds of this creamy cheese, and EVERYONE (everyone, I tell you) begs for the recipe. (Everyone.) So here we go.
First, line a sieve with a double layer of cheesecloth and place it in a bowl like this:
Next, bring 1 quart of milk, 1/2 cup of heavy cream and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to a rolling boil in a heavy saucepan. (By the way, I only make half of Ferretti’s recipe at a time because I am trying, trying to keep my butt from getting as big as a barn.)
Now, you add 1 1/2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, reduce the heat to low, and simmer — stirring gently — until the mixture curdles, about 2 minutes. It looks sort of gross at this point, but stay with me.
Now, simply dump the whole mess into that nice cheesecloth-lined sieve, like this:
Let it drain for about an hour, and you’ll have a nice batch of ricotta that looks something like this:
Transfer the ricotta to a tightly lidded container and refrigerate it. For a crazy good snack, spread it on lightly toasted slices of French bread, sprinkle with salt and pepper and top with sliced fresh tomatoes or roasted red peppers. It’s also wonderful spread on crackers and topped with a drizzle of olive oil and Balsamic vinegar. Or spread it on hot buttered toast and drizzle with honey or sprinkle with a little cinnamon sugar for a completely decadent breakfast. Ferretti says to eat it within 2 days, which shouldn’t be difficult to do.
Have you tried making your own cheese? If so, I’d love to hear about your experiences.
You might also enjoy: