How to Make Ricotta

Learn to make creamy, homemade ricotta in just a few simple steps.

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Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Homemade Ricotta

In just a few easy steps, using everyday ingredients and no special equipment, you can make fresh, creamy ricotta cheese in your own kitchen. We use a technique taught to us by homesteading provisioner and cheese making educator Nicole Easterday of FARMcurious.

To make 2 generous cups of ricotta, start with 1/2 gallon whole milk, 1 pint heavy cream, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 6 tablespoons lemon juice or vinegar. You'll also need a large nonreactive pot, a plastic or metal slotted spoon, a metal or plastic ladle, a colander, cheesecloth and a thermometer.

Pour the milk and cream into the pot, and add the salt. Turn on the heat to medium, stirring occasionally to keep from scorching on the bottom.

When the milk begins to foam, start checking its temperature. When it reaches 190 degrees F, remove from the heat. 

Pour in the lemon juice and stir slowly with a slotted spoon a few times. You will see the curds begin to form. Let the pot sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.

Line a colander with a few layers of cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl to catch the whey. Ladle the curds into the colander and let them strain for at least an hour. After an hour, it will be smooth and spreadable. After 2 hours, it will be firmer, more like cream cheese.

Don’t throw that whey away! It has many uses, in cooking, in baking or even in the garden.

Refrigerate your ricotta if not using it immediately, but be sure to consume it within a few days.

(A great idea in the summer? Try ricotta on grilled peaches drizzled with balsamic vinegar or honey.)

Get the Recipe: Grilled Fruit with Honey and Ricotta

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