Homemade Ricotta Cheese
Making ricotta cheese is quite simple and the end product is so much better than any store bought variety. Ricotta is a very versatile cheese that can be used for lasagna, filling delicate ravioli, or used in sweet dishes such as ricotta cheesecake.
- 1 Gallon Organic Whole Milk, Organic optional
- 2 Cups Organic Heavy Cream, Organic optional
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons White Distilled Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Salt, Kosher
For this recipe you will also need cheese cloth, thermometer, and a large non-reactive pot (stainless steel)
- Pour the milk and cream into the pot and place over medium-high heat, and heat to just below boiling. Stir with a spatula to keep the liquid from scorching. Just before the milk boils, the surface will start to foam and release steam. Check the temperature and pull the pot off the heat just shy of 185 degrees F.
- Add the vinegar and stir for 30 seconds. The curds will form almost immediately. Add the salt and stir for another 30 seconds. Cover the pot with a dish towel and let the curds stand at room temperature for 2 hours.
- Line the colander with a large square of cheesecloth and place the colander over the bowl to catch the draining liquid. Using a slotted spoon, gently transfer the curds from the pot to the colander. Let the ricotta drain for about 30 minutes.
- Gather the cheesecloth by it's corners and twist together to force the liquid from the curds. When the liquid turns from clear to milky and the cheese starts to push through the cheesecloth, it has drained enough.
- Remove the ricotta from the cheesecloth and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It's best super fresh, but it can be saved for up to one week.
This fresh ricotta cheese is delicious in homemade lasagna. In another one of my hubs, I published my mother's amazing homemade spaghetti sauce. The spaghetti sauce is wonderful in lasagna with this cheese.
To fit your style and taste preferences, you could add rosemary or any herb of your choice to this cheese and use it as a spread over french bread.