Homemade Ricotta Cheese

As a self-processed cheese lover I am ashamed to admit that I've never liked ricotta. It's just one of those cheeses (like blue cheese *shudder*) that I've never been able to stomach for whatever reason. But then, the great pizza crisis of 2016 happened when I discovered my cheese drawer was lacking mozzarella. Then, I remembered that the entire week on various Food Network shows everyone had been making their own ricotta cheese and putting it on pizza. So I shrugged, pulled out that emergency cheesecloth (I KNEW my kitchen hoarding would pay off!), and miraculously had everything I needed for DIY cheese. 

IT WAS DIVINE.

I originally figured tha some cheese was better than no cheese, but I was unprepared for the level of deliciousness I managed to create in less that 30 minutes. So the next time you're feeling adventurous or just plain curious, give this recipe (slightly adapted from Ina Garten) a try!

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 30 Minute Ricotta Cheese
Yields About 1 Cup 
 (This recipe could easily be doubled!)

What Do I Need? 

  • 2 Cups Whole Milk
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 TSP sea salt
  • 2 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Cheesecloth (I added this to the ingredient list, so you remember to grab some before you start!)

What Do I Do? 

  1. Set a mesh strainer (aka- Sieve) over a bowl. (I wedged mine on the edge of the sink since I didn't have a bowl tall enough that would keep the sieve suspended and not touching the bottom of the bowl.) Line the strainer with a double layer of cheesecloth.  
  2. Pour the milk, cream, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once the mixture is boiling, turn off the heat and add the vinegar.  
  3. Allow the mixture to stand for at least a minute until it curdles. (It will start to seperate into curds (thick parts) and whey (milky parts). 
  4. Pour the entire mixture into the cheesecloth lined sieve and allow it to drain into the bowl below for 20-25 minutes. (Honestly, at this point I thought it didn't work because it still looked so liquidy. I'm glad I left it alone to do what it was doing!)  The longer the mixture drains, the thicker the ricotta will be! 
  5. Pick up the cheesecloth and transfer the mixture inside to another bowl. Discard the cheesecloth. 
  6. That's it! Either use immediately, or cover and keep it in the fridge for 4-5 days.