Homemade Ricotta Cheese

This was my first venture into cheese-making, and it couldn’t have been easier.

A lot of people are not big fans of ricotta, but give this homemade version a try and it’ll probably change your mind. This versatile cheese can be used for pastas, sandwiches, desserts, or even simply with a great meat and cheese plate.

Here’s all you need:
6 cups of whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

Put all of these in a large pot, and slowly bring to a simmer, stirring on occasion to keep the milk on the bottom from scalding.

Simmer for 3-5 min, continuing to gently stir as the curds form and separate from the whey. After that time, the curds should have thickened quite a bit and it’ll be time to strain.

Pour the mixture into a strainer lined with cheesecloth (or a few layers of paper towels works fine). Put the stained over a bowl or cake pan so that you can reserve the whey. Why? Whey adds a tangy flavor and healthy protein to anything you would normally use water or milk: smoothies, baked breads, muffins, tortillas, cakes, etc.. Just freeze it and defrost when you are ready to use.

Strain the curds for 15-20 minutes and get ready to eat. Hopefully you have some fresh, crusty bread around and serve with a good olive oil and a touch of finishing salt. Or if you want a semi-sweet treat, drizzle some honey on top.

This recipe is from Anne Burrell via foodnetwork.com, and can be found here.

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