Stop what you’re doing. Drop everything right now and go make this homemade ricotta cheese! Your life will never be the same after you’ve done this once!
I always want to make everything homemade. There are several reasons why. Number one: making food fascinates me. Grabbing a couple simple ingredients and turning into something stunning is an art form. It soothes me. Number two: I know exactly what is going into my food. I know that when I make bread at home, I use flour, yeast, salt and water, sometimes milk or olive oil. It’s a few simple ingredients, not fifteen which include 5 ingredients I have no idea what they even are. Number three: I like to impress my guests. Let’s face it. When you say you’ve made stuffed manicotti with homemade ricotta, your guests will stopping eating and oooh and ahhh even more over the food they’re eating. And my final reason: It. Just. Tastes. Better! SO much better! I dare you to make this homemade ricotta cheese recipe just once and compare it to the store bought one and then let’s talk.
Now about making ricotta… I have two different versions I make. One takes whole milk and heavy cream which is much richer and thicker because of the fat content. The other takes 2% milk which has less fat and less calories. Even though it’s a little thinner consistency, the taste is still incomparable to store-bought ricotta.
You bring milk almost to a boil. Add vinegar to curdle.
Let it sit, strain and then enjoy. That’s it! It doesn’t get any easier than this.
Both methods are pretty much the same. However, when you use 2% allow the curdled milk to rest a little bit longer before draining it.
Stick the ricotta in the fridge to firm up and Voila!
- 5 cups whole milk plus 3 cups heavy cream or Half gallon 8 cups 2% milk
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
Mix milk, heavy cream (or just 2% milk) and salt in a saucepan. Bring it to the stove, at medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Don’t let the milk boil. Keep watching it closely. As soon as you see the first bubble rising, turn the heat off. Immediately add the vinegar and stir. The milk will curdle. Cover it with a clean towel and let it rest for about 10 minutes (30 minutes if you’re using 2% milk). Meanwhile, line a mesh strainer with two layers of cheesecloth and put it over a large bowl to catch the liquid. Pour milk through the strainer and let it drain for about 1 hour if you've used whole milk and heavy cream and longer if you've used 2% milk, I usually put the strainer and the bowl that is catching the liquid in the fridge for a few hours. The longer you drain, the firmer your ricotta is going to be. It’s magical what happens. You’ll see. You will never be sorry you made this!