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Homemade Ricotta

This ricotta, made from whole milk and cream, is similar in texture and taste to purchased ricotta made from whey. The flavor is best when it is just made.

Ingredients:

  • 1 gallon organic whole milk
  • 2 cups organic heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

Directions:

Pour the milk and cream into a large, heavy-bottomed nonreactive pot over medium-high heat and warm to just below boiling, stirring constantly with a silicone 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 remove from the heat when it is between 180°F and 185°F.

Add the vinegar and stir for 30 seconds. Curds will begin forming almost immediately. Add the salt and stir for another 30 seconds. Cover the pot with a dish towel and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.

Line a colander with cheesecloth and place over a large bowl. 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 its corners and twist together to force out the liquid. 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 in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Makes about 2 cups.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Family Meals, by Maria Helm Sinskey (Oxmoor House, 2008).