As a cheese lover, I can easily say that this homemade ricotta cheese is 10x better than the store-bought version. It shouldn’t really be a surprise since homemade anything is better than what’s in the market, but for some reason, I always imagined making cheese to be this daunting task that would result in failure.
Ricotta Cheese Recipe
It’s kind of similar to the way I used to view homemade butter. Whenever I heard chefs talk about using their own butter, I immediately imagined an old lady from the 19th century churning cream in a big barrel. It’s ridiculous to imagine now that I know how very easy it is to make homemade butter (just pour heavy cream into a food processor and blend it until it clumps).
But dairy products had always seemed like a farmer’s niche and not mine. Like homemade butter, I’ve come to learn that homemade ricotta cheese can be done just as easily.
Homemade Ricotta Cheese
The only kind of culinary “tool” you need is cheesecloth, and even that’s optional. Some people use coffee filters instead, but I personally can’t comment on its success as I’ve only ever used cheesecloth.
You basically heat a combination of milk, cream, and salt in a large pot. You warm the mixture until it’s almost boiling (190 degrees F to be precise), before you remove the pot from the heat and add in acid (either lemon juice or distilled white vinegar). The acid will make the milk curdle after about 5 minutes.
You then pour the mixture into a damp, cheesecloth-lined sieve (which is sitting on top of a large bowl), and allow the whey (the milky/watery part) to drain from the actual cheese curds.
The result is an authentic ricotta cheese that is very difficult to find in any grocery store.
Ricotta Cheese Dessert Recipes
I let my cheese drain for quite awhile (overnight) because I like my ricotta creamy and thick (note: the cheese will thicken even more with time). I then spread the ricotta on a piece of toasted baguette and drizzle locally-harvested honey. It’s positively delicious and yet completely feasible for the everyday cook.
I’ve also used my creation in ricotta cheese dessert recipes like my lemon ricotta cake. If you haven’t tried that recipe yet, I highly recommend you do – it’s one of the most popular recipes on my blog!
Ricotta Cheese Pasta Recipes
You can also try a variety of ricotta cheese pasta recipes, like a simple lasagna recipe or even delicious tarts like this tomato ricotta one. The options are endless, and with a batch of homemade ricotta in your arsenal, any dish you create with it is bound to taste fantastic!
Ricotta Cheese Recipe
A simple and easy recipe for making homemade ricotta cheese.
- 3 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp distilled white vinegar or lemon juice
Heat milk, cream and salt in a large pot over low heat until simmering (use a thermometer to test - should reach 190 degrees when ready).
Stir mixture occasionally. Remove mixture from heat and add vinegar or lemon juice. Give it a gentle stir and then let it rest for about 5 minutes.
Cover a sieve with a few layers of damp cheesecloth and rest the sieve over a large bowl.
Pour the cheese mixture into the cloth and let it drain for approximately 1 hour. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 or 5 days.
The longer the ricotta rests in the sieve, the thicker it will be as more of the liquid will drain off.