fresh ricotta cheese

Cheese making has never really been something on my culinary bucket list, not with two really well stocked cheese counters at grocery stores nearby & local cheese makers like Chapel Hill Creamery & Elodie Farms.

Although, when it came to making this dish, I knew that regular old grocery store ricotta cheese wasn’t going to cut it.  Sure, it’s fine in things like stuffed shells & lasagna, when it’s dressed up with herbs & sauces, but not so much as a major flavor component.

DSC 7009 fresh ricotta cheese

I wasn’t sure what we were going to do, but on this day we were just kind of doing things around the house, some laundry here, soaking & cooking beans there, cleaning, making breadcrumbs…I figured, why not make some cheese?

I had a recipe for fresh ricotta bookmarked for, oh, over three years & it was so simple I’m kicking myself for not making it ages ago.  Only milk, yogurt, cream, vinegar, salt, about 10 minutes of stirring & 15 minutes of waiting are between you & the freshest, best tasting ricotta.

DSC 7008 fresh ricotta cheese

FRESH RICOTTA CHEESE
makes 2 cups

2 quarts whole milk
1 cup plain, whole milk yogurt
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt

Line a fine mesh strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth.  Set over a deep bowl & set aside.

In a large pot over medium to medium-high heat, heat all the ingredients to a boil.  Let bubble very gently for about 1-2 minutes, until curdled.

Pour the curdled mixture into the lined strainer & let sit for 15 minutes.  After it’s drained, gather the cheese cloth around the curds & gently squeeze out any additional liquid.  It’s best served immediately, but can be stored for up to three days in an airtight container in the fridge.

from David Lebovitz via Simply Recipes

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5 Responses to fresh ricotta cheese

  1. LeAndra says:

    I’m so excited you are on the homemade ricotta bandwagon. I too was once like, “Make cheese? That’s silly.” Then I made ricotta and found it was so simple, yet so good. The recipe I use requires only whole milk and lemon juice, so I’m definitely looking forward to trying this one. It sounds like it would be so much creamier.

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