Make Your Own Ricotta Cheese
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Homemade cheese may seem like a daunting task, but some cheeses are much easier to make than others. Homemade ricotta is definitely doable at home -- all it takes is some easy assembly and a bit of patience. The pay-off is BIG: Absolutely no preservatives and the best-tasting, creamiest ricotta you’ve ever had.
My favorite ricotta recipe was inspired by Food and Wine Magazine chef Maria Helm Sinskey. Just a few tweaks to make the recipe my own and it’s been a staple in my kitchen ever since. I make it just about any time I need ricotta -- it’s THAT good. Serve with favorite pasta dishes, sweetened with honey and fresh berries, or spread on a slice of toasted bread topped with sliced tomato or cucumber. Since it's pretty rich, a little goes a long way!
Combine milk and cream in a large pot and heat over medium-high heat until steamy, but not boiling.
Turn off heat. Stir in vinegar and salt with a wooden spoon. Continue to gently stir for 1 to 2 minutes as curds begin to form. Allow to sit out at room temperature for 90 minutes.
Place a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth over a large bowl. Using a slotting spoon, transfer curds to the cheese cloth and allow to sit for an additional 30 minutes.
Prep Tip: Once you have gotten most of the curds out with a slotted spoon, pour remaining liquid through a separate fine mesh strainer; add those curds to the rest in the cheesecloth.
Serve fresh ricotta chilled or at room temperature. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »