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Homemade Ricotta

Making Ricotta cheese is simple and the end product is so much better than any store bought variety. This versatile cheese can be used for savory and sweet dishes from filling for ravioli, lasagne and vegetables to ricotta cheesecake. Rennet can also be used to make the cheese instead of lemon juice, buttermilk or white vinegar. Makes about 3 cups


2 quarts whole milk

1 cup heavy cream 

1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (need 2-3)

1/2 teaspoon salt



Pour the milk and cream into a large stainless steel soup pot. Attach an instant read or candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Heat the mixture to 220F. Add the lemon juice and stir only once.  

Have ready a fine mesh colander lined with several layers of damp cheesecloth placed over a large bowl.

As the curds form, gather them with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the colander. Allow the curds to drain at room temperature for at least two hours. Transfer the cheese to an airtight container and refrigerate. Use within a week.

 Note the leftover liquid (whey) can be saved and added to yeast dough.

 Variation: After the cheese has drained, pack it into damp cheesecloth-lined small molds. Unmold and serve with warm honey and toasted almond slices for a great dessert or with dried and poached fruit such as white peaches, nectarines or apricots.


  1. Paula's avatar
  2. Tess's avatar


    if you use some vanilla and sugar, it tastes like non-melting Dove Bars. I don't make it too often since I eat it before I can store it.
  3. Hope Gordon's avatar

    Hope Gordon

    Watching the episode about foods of Rome, Maryann mentioned making homemade Ricotta and the recipe on her website. As a vegetarian, being able to find a way to make ricotta without animal based rennet is terrific!! Thanks Maryann!!

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