Monday, July 29, 2013

Homemade Ricotta - Deliciously Easy

For some reason, not having anything to do with the amazing ricotta from Cinquecento, Nick really wanted to whip up some homemade ricotta. Its one of those things you have seen done a bunch on TV and seems like no big deal, but actually deciding to do it requires a little more inspiration. Finally, when faced with bringing an appetizer to a family get-together, Nick decided this was the time to give it a go. Using his favorite Ina Garten's recipe as a guide, he set to work. Not to give away the ending, but if you don't try making your own ricotta ASAP, you are missing out!


The Necessities (Adapted from Ina, yes we are on a first name basis in this household)
  • 4 cups Whole Milk
  • 2 cups Heavy Cream
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 3 tablespoons of Good White Vinegar
To begin, in a saucepan Nick combined the milk, cream and salt.  This went over a medium heat and was stirred occasionally until everything came to a boil.

About to boil....
While the dairy heated away, a large mesh sieve went over a large heatproof bowl. Nick dampened some cheese cloth and placed it into the mesh sieve.

Ricotta Set-Up
Once the milk and cream mixture came to boil, the saucepan came off the heat and the vinegar went in. This sat for about 3 minutes.

Adding Vinegar
Nick had an audience...
Soon enough, the mixture will curdle, which in this case is a good thing.

After three minutes, Nick poured the mixture over the cheesecloth lined sieve and let it sit for about 20-25 minutes at room temperature.  You may have to occasionally toss the liquid in the bowl as it is sitting.

Sitting...good view of curds on top and whey down below
The longer the mixture sits in the cheesecloth, the thicker the final product will be. Once the ricotta is at the desired thickness you can either use it immediately or place in a bowl in the refrigerator for use within about 5 days.

Here Nick simply drizzled some olive oil and sprinkled some salt and pepper overtop and finally garnished with some fresh basil. While I could have just eaten it straight with a spoon, we had some pita chips to dip in.

Homemade ricotta is so simple and so much better than what you can buy at the store that it is so worth making. We have made this a number of times since and have played with different varieties of vinegar. The one with the least amount of taste is definitely the rice wine vinegar, but really the champagne and regular white wine vinegar tasted pretty delicious as well.  It really all depends on what you like. It is all just so good!

Ricotta is a great first cheese to make at home - gives you plenty of confidence to try others!

Have you made cheese at home? What type?


  1. That looks wonderful! I've made homemade ricotta before with just milk and buttermilk. It's shocking how easy it is!

  2. I have not made cheese at home yet, but this looks awesome! I want a bowl of it :)

  3. I made ricotta once, and it was delicious. This is a great reminder to make it again!

  4. definitely NEED to give this a try! yum :)

  5. I just made homemade cream cheese for the first time and it was ridiculously easy. Ricotta's next on my list!


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