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  • Homemade Ricotta Cheese



    Homemade Ricotta Cheese

    Makes 2 cups.


     

    Making ricotta really is easy and for the price of a quart or two of milk, you can have a lovely mound of freshly-made, still-warm ricotta with very little effort. Homemade ricotta makes a wonderful base for Italian cheesecakes, ravioli fillings, and lasagna. I like to serve a spoonful of this with sliced fresh fruit; peaches, nectarines, or berries are lovely, along with a drizzle of honey. It also make a nice accompaniment to a stewed apricot compote, fresh or ripe figs, or poached dried fruits in the winter.

     

     

     
    2 quarts whole milk
    1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
    Optional: 1/2 cup heavy cream
    2 teaspoons white vinegar
    1 teaspoon salt
     
     
     
     
    1 In a large pot, bring the milk, yogurt, heavy cream (if using), vinegar, and salt to a boil. Very gently boil for one to two minutes, until the milk is curdled.
     
    2 Meanwhile, line a strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth and set it over a deep bowl.
     
    3 Pour the milk mixture into the strainer and let drain for 15 minutes. Gather the cheesecloth around the curds and squeeze gently to extract any excess liquid.
     
    Storage: Homemade ricotta is best served slightly warm, although it can be refrigerated for up to three days, if desired.