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 adjusted the recipe slightly. Homemade ricotta has become a staple in our kitchen.
Here’s how to make it. First, line a sieve with a double layer of cheesecloth and place it in a bowl for draining:
Next, bring 2 cups of whole milk, 1/2 cup of heavy cream and 1/8 teaspoon of salt to a rolling boil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.
Now, add 1 tablespoon 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.
Carefully dump the whole mess into that nice cheesecloth-lined sieve.
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.
Here’s the easy recipe:
Homemade Ricotta Cheese
Cheesecloth for straining
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Line a sieve with a double layer of cheesecloth and place it in a bowl for draining; set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the milk, cream and salt and bring to a rolling boil. Add the fresh lemon juice, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, stirring gently, until the mixture curdles, about 2 minutes. Pour into the cheesecloth-lined strainer and let it drain for about an hour. Transfer the ricotta to a tightly lidded container and refrigerate it for up to 3 days. Makes about 1 cup.
Have you tried making your own ricotta, or any other type of cheese? I’d love to hear about your experiences.
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