Homemade Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese

from ButterYum
makes about 2 pounds

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon organic whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Directions

  1. In a stainless steel heavy-bottom 6-quart or larger stockpot, heat milk and cream over medium-high heat until it reaches 185F.  
  2. Turn off heat and stir in vinegar; stir gently for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add salt; stir gently for another 30 seconds.
  4. Cover stockpot with lid and allow the mixture to stand for 2 hours.
  5. Place a large mesh strainer in a large bowl and line the strainer with a clean cotton or linen kitchen towel.
  6. Using a mesh skimmer or slotted spoon, gently lift the ricotta curds out of the whey and place in the towel lined strainer.  
  7. Drain for a few minutes and transfer mixture to an airtight container.
  8. Refrigerate for up to a week.  Recipe makes about 2 pounds.

Notes:  This ricotta can be used for sweet or savory recipes.  For savory recipes, you may want to stir more salt (to taste) into the finished curds. The longer you drain the curds, the more dry and firm the finished ricotta will be when chilled.  If your ricotta turns out more firm that you like, simply stir some whey or heavy cream into the ricotta.  Also, don't throw away the leftover whey - it can be used in so many ways.  Freeze it in small batches and use it instead of water in your bread recipes, cook potatoes/rice/oatmeal, use it in smoothies and protein drinks, soak and/or cook grains quinoa, etc.   Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Family Meals.

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