how to: homemade ricotta

Prior to discovering how much I love to read food blogs and try new and unique recipes (especially those for things people don’t typically make at home), I never would have thought of making something like ricotta.  As is often the case, once I saw a recipe and gave it a shot, it was SO much easier than I would have anticipated.  And, in typical fashion, the end result was SO much better than what you buy in the grocery store, and completely worth the (minor) extra effort.

I have always loved ricotta, but ricotta from scratch is a totally different story.  The texture of the cheese is all smooth creaminess, without being overly heavy.  In the past I’ve loved to add a dollop of ricotta to pasta with tomato sauce, and it’s one of my favorite parts of lasagna and ravioli dishes, but I never thought to eat it on its own or simply over some bread.  This recipe changed all of that – our favorite way to eat ricotta now is to spread it on some crusty bread, possibly sprinkled with some olive oil, pepper or herbs – makes for a fantastic appetizer!


  • 3 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice


In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, heavy cream and salt.  Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 190°F.

Once the desired temperature is reached, add in the white vinegar and lemon juice, stir once, and set aside for 5 minutes.

Set a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl (line the strainer with a double layer of cheesecloth for a creamier result).  Pour the curdled milk mixture into the strainer, allowing the whey to drain into the bowl.  Set aside for about an hour – the longer it sits, the creamier the cheese will be.  Enjoy!

Yield: about 1 cup of cheese

Source: The Way the Cookie Crumbles; originally adapted from Smitten Kitchen


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