We are cheese lovers in our house! Any and all; hard Parmesan, salty feta, rich brie, tangy bleu, you name it and we’ve used it on crackers, in mac ‘n cheese, or eaten it straight off the cutting board in a dark kitchen, at midnight, after putting Luca to bed. It’s got so many uses and is easily one of the most versatile ingredients in the kitchen. Useful in dishes made for every meal and snack, it’s even a dessert I can manage! One of the simplest at home cheese recipes to experiment with is ricotta. With few ingredients and simple instructions, you can feel free to change it up without the fear of messing it up! Here’s the basic Homemade Ricotta recipe.
4 cups Whole milk (this once, I’ll tell you not to use the organic stuff, it’s ultra pasteurized and doesn’t curdle as well)
2 cups heavy cream
3 TBS acid of your choice, I used apple cider vinegar
Line a sieve with two layers of dampened cheesecloth and place the sieve in a larger bowl.
Add milk and cream into a large pot and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once it reaches a boil, remove from the heat, add in the salt and vinegar and let stand for 2-3 minutes. It will begin to curdle.
Carefully pour the mixture (curds and whey) into the sieve and let drain for 30 minutes, longer for thicker ricotta. Eat warm or store in the fridge.
This was my first time making this delicious treat so I’ll share some of my honest feedback. Use non-organic milk, the ultra-pasteurized left the ricotta very creamy. Some recipes call for heating the milk only until it reaches 175 degress, next time I’d try it, why not right? Experiment with the acid; lemon juice, lime juice, white wine vinegar…I was almost brave enough to try fig infused white balsamic vinegar but I figured I keep it simple for the first go-around!
Now that I feel comfortable with the steps, I’m excited to play around with the recipe and see what delicious new flavors I can invent! I’ve read rave reviews about Salvatore Bklyn in New York for their artisan cheeses and since it’s my husbands birthplace, I look forward to giving it a try! Finding a good cheese shop is like finding a diamond in the rough 🙂
Homemade ricotta can be whipped into eggs to make a light and airy morning, layered in noodles for savory lasagna, or drizzle with honey for a rich dessert. Anyway you decide to serve it, once you see how simple it is to make and how tasty the results are, you’ll never go back to the preservative-filled store bought stuff again!
Stephanie a.k.a. The Foodetarian