Ricotta is an Italian cheese that can be made from any type of milk. The texture of the ricotta is determined by the amount of whey liquid that is strained away. For drier ricotta, such as for cannoli or pound cake you would strain longer; for wetter applications like pizza or pastas, you would strain less. You can save the whey for making bread or adding to smoothies and rinse and reuse the cheesecloth. Do not use ultra-pasteurized milk or cream as the curds will not separate due to the heat treatment. Note that you will need an instant-read thermometer for this recipe.
- 6 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (optional)
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 large lemon) or white vinegar
HEAT the milk, cream and salt in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the milk registers 185°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 10 minutes. (It will start to form small bubbles on the surface but you don’t want it to boil so watch carefully.)
ADD lemon juice (or vinegar) to the milk mixture and stir once. Remove the pot from the heat and let sit for 20 minutes while the curds form. (It's okay if the temperature fluctuates down to 175°F but if it goes lower, turn on the heat for a minute to bring it back up to 185°F.)
LINE a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth and place over a large bowl. Carefully transfer the curds to the strainer using a slotted spoon or ladle.
LET the curds stand until excess liquid has drained away, 20 to 60 minutes (shorter if you want a moister final product or longer if you want a drier one). Transfer the ricotta to an airtight container and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 5 days.
- Serving Size
- 1/4 cup or 1/10 of recipe
- per serving
- 14 grams
- Saturated Fat
- 8 grams
- 50 milligrams
- 260 milligrams
- 8 grams
- 0 grams
- 8 grams
- 5 grams
- 181 milligrams
Try your super-fresh, homemade ricotta in Cabot's Cheesy Stuffed Shells with Pesto recipe. It's delicious!
Fresh ricotta will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.