Homemade Ricotta Cheese

I just love fresh homemade ricotta cheese …. there is nothing better and it totally beats out the store bought brands. Like homemade salad dressings once you go homemade there is no going back. Now I could go into the ton of ways you can make ricotta cheese, like lemon instead of vinegar, buttermilk instead of lemon but basically why confuse yourself …. I just do what has worked the best for me.


Here is the very simple technique that I use:


Ingredients:


6 cups whole milk (pasturized, farm fresh only … do not use organic ultra-pasturized milk)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar


NOTE:  For a creamier texture you can use 4 cups whole milk and 2 cups heavy cream. The more cream you substitute for milk the creamier your ricotta cheese will be.


Instructions:


Put the milk and sauce in deep pan on medium heat and bring to a slow boil. Now take care to stir often so as not to scorch the milk. Once the milk comes to a boil take it off the heat and add the white wine vinegar.  Now the magic starts to happen … you will immediately see the milk separate into curds and whey. Let mixture sit for about 15 to 30 minutes. I have found that the longer the mixture sits the larger the curds and a slightly larger yield (about 2 1/2 cups to 3 cups).


In the meantime, line a strainer with cheesecloth. Slowly pour your mixture into the cheese cloth making sure to capture all those yummy curds. Let curds drain until all the whey has released and voila …. you have fresh, homemade ricotta cheese.


TIP:  Mix in your favorite herbs, a little salt and pepper and you have a yummy spread for crackers or a fresh crusty bread. 

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