Homemade Ricotta Cheese

When I think of cheesemaking, I think of sitting under a cow or goat for fresh milk, stirring said fresh milk in a giant heated vat, and adding enzymes that I would buy, um, where exactly does one buy enzymes?  But thanks to David Lebovitz and Simply Recipes, I realized that making ricotta cheese at home is frighteningly easy (frighteningly because I’ll be making it every night!).

Making ricotta cheese, step one.

Not cheese yet

All you have to do is bring whole milk, whole milk yogurt, vinegar, and salt to a boil and let the mixture gently boil for one or two minutes.

Almost cheese

Almost cheese

Take some cheesecloth (which you can buy at pretty much any grocery store), and place it inside a large bowl. Pour the mixture in the bowl, making sure the edges of the cheesecloth stay above the mixture.

Take up the cheese cloth, draining the whey from the curds, and tie it (you may need an extra pair of fingers) to a long spoon or spatula. Hover it over a deep bowl (mine wasn’t quite deep enough) or the sink (as above). Let it drain for about 15 minutes. You can serve it immediately, put it on pizza or pasta, or put it in the refrigerator for up to three days.

 

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Homemade ricotta is much much better than any ricotta you get from the grocery store. It has a fresh, milky smell, and is perfect on this recipe for pizza with fresh vegetables and proscuitto. I’ve also used it in muffins (gasp!) to replace buttermilk or sour cream. If you do use it as a replacement for these, just make sure you balance the recipe out by adding a bit more milk so it doesn’t get too dense.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese (adapted only slightly from Simply Recipes

Makes 2 cups

2 quarts whole milk

1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (I use Fage)

Optional: 1/2 cup heavy cream (I did not use this, but if anyone does, tell me how you like it)

2 teaspoons white vinegar

1 1/4 teaspoons salt (the original recipe calls for 1 tsp. of salt, but I thought it could have used more)

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1 Comment

  1. August 10, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    […] froze the rest for later. On top of that, add about 8 oz of fresh mozzerella, about a 1/2 cup of homemade ricotta, and shavings of good parmesean–maybe about 10 shavings or so. Top with about 1/2 cup of […]


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