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20 February 2010

Ricotta Cheese is ridiculously easy to make. From scratch.[More:]

1/2 gallon whole milk
1c plain whole-milk yogurt
1/2c heavy cream
2tsp white vinegar
1tsp salt

Dump all of the ingredients into a pot and bring it to a boil. Boil it very, very gently until the milk is curdled, 1 or 2 minutes. Line a strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth and set it over a deep bowl. Pour the curdled milk into the strainer and drain for 15 minutes. Gather the cheesecloth and gently squeeze out the remaining liquid.

Seriously. That's it. And it's fantastic.

BONUS YOGURT QUESTION: I could only find whole milk plain yogurt in gigantic granola-cruncher size, and I hate eating the stuff. What can I do with it?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 20 February | 00:58
Make yogurt cheese with your excess yogurt: put in cheesecloth, hang overnight to drain. Voila!
posted by Specklet 20 February | 05:19
I keep meaning to try this in a small batch, so I don't end up with an elderly half-tub of ricotta in the fridge. Is the fresh homemade stuff just fantastically good, rhapsodie? I used to buy nice ricotta at a local Italian market, but I moved too far to walk over on a whim. Now I'll be daydreaming about your ricotta. Mmmm.

As for your bonus yogurt question, making yogurt cheese is a great suggestion. My super-easy method, much more convenient than the seive-cheesecloth-weight arrangement I used to use: save your yogurt tubs and puncture the bottom of one liberally with a skewer. Put the punctured one inside an unpunctured one and use this as your strainer. It's compact enough to refrigerate easily, which means you can drain it for a long time even if your kitchen is too warm for it to keep well. You can either seal it with the lid or put yet another yogurt tub on top and fill that with water, for a weight.

I use yogurt cheese the way you'd use cream cheese, or I mix in herbs and oil and garlic to make faux-boursin.

You can also use (not-drained) yogurt in quick breads that call for buttermilk. I haven't perfectly refined the chemistry yet, but it works pretty well: for each cup of buttermilk, I use around 2/3 cup of yogurt diluted with 1/3 cup water.
posted by Elsa 20 February | 11:48
This recipe made maybe a cup and a half of ricotta. But it's so, so good and fresh. You never realize how processed the stuff you buy at the store really is until you try a recipe like this.

I'll have to try hanging the yogurt this weekend, thanks for the suggestion!
posted by rhapsodie 20 February | 15:04
I loved the single serving sorbet/ice-cream tutorial with the cute teddy-bear. There was a link on the page that Elsa linked to.
posted by marsha56 20 February | 16:21
Didn't gomichild do this with just whole milk and fresh lemon juice? Either way, i'm going to try it one of these days. I love ricotta cheese.
posted by ethylene 21 February | 16:04
Sometimes I think to myself, Thank Goodness for Feminism! || Calling your bluff!