Delicious, easy homemade ricotta with just a few simple ingredients! This is such a fun, foolproof party trick - homemade fresh cheese over toast or as a dip. Bonus points: Use leftovers for steak ricotta pasta, aka HEAVEN.
I made cheese. And, it worked! Sometimes when I make new foods they don't exaaaaactly work, and then I feel dumb and sad. But whatever. This worked!
It was DELICIOUS, and so simple. Milk and cream, with acid and salt, curdled and drained.
Then you have ricotta.
I think traditionally ricotta is made from whey leftover after making other cheeses, but this method is fast, simple, and basically foolproof. So, you should try this one. I found the recipe in my latest issue of Food Network Magazine, which I totally adore. If you're into learning new things about food, this might be a publication you would enjoy. Seriously. I read every word of it, and drool over the pictures every second of my life.
So, this is just so simple. You'll absolutely adore it, I promise. We're going to drain the cheese in a minute through paper towels or cheesecloth in a sieve, so prep that first! You need milk, cream, salt, lemon juice, and vinegar. I'm going to try this next with non-whole milk or half and half, and I'll report back on the results.
Measure the milk and cream, and pour them into a large pot over medium heat.
Then, grab a teaspoon or so of salt....
...and dump it in! Stir the milk mixture every once in awhile until it foams and bubbles gently.
While the milk was coming to a boil I measured the lemon juice and vinegar together so they'd be ready for me.
When the milk mixture bubbles, dump in the acid!
Stir stir stir for one or two minutes, and BAM. The mixture curdles, and you've made ricotta. Seriously, it's that easy.
Pour the mixture through the prepared strainer, and discard the whey if it gets in the way of the draining process.
AND SAVE SOME OF IT. I've read mysterious things online about how you can give it to your dogs or make soup with it or do TONS of cool stuff with reserved whey. I have a jar of it in the fridge taking up space so....I'll get back to you on that.
While the whey is draining, grab some serving ingredients! Bread, olive oil, and fresh herbs is really all you need. I wouldn't use this in a recipe because it's SO light and flavorful....why would you want to hide it in lasagna? You wouldn't.
Drain the ricotta for 5 - 30 minutes - it depends on how thick you'd like your cheese. I drained mine for about 20 minutes and then couldn't take it anymore...
....like...snapped this picture and ate it with just olive oil, salt, and pepper. I died. It was so good.
Fresh herbs add even more to the flavor of the cheese, just don't use too many or you'll lose the lovely creamy flavor of the ricotta!
This is SO good, and so much fun. You really have to try it - I promise you won't be able to mess it up!
I've got an idea for what you can do to make this into a meal, too. Stand by....
- 6 ½ cups whole milk
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 ½ tablespoons white vinegar
- Bring the milk, cream, and salt to a simmer in a large non-reactive pot over medium-high heat. Stir every few minutes.
- While the milk is heating through, prepare a fine-mesh strainer or sieve with cheesecloth or paper towels over a large bowl.
- When the mixture just bubbles, add the lemon juice and vinegar and stir until the milk curdles. Stir for 1 minute.
- Pour the mixture through the sieve and let drain for 5 - 30 minutes, depending on your preference for soft or thick cheese. Reserve or discard the whey.
- Serve warm on toast with good olive oil, salt, pepper, and any fresh herbs you like.
- Store covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.