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Test Kitchen video tip: Homemade ricotta

December 20, 2012|By Noelle Carter
  • Homemade ricotta. It's so good, you can -- and probably should -- eat it on its own.
Homemade ricotta. It's so good, you can -- and probably should -- eat… (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles…)

A couple of years ago Food Editor Russ Parsons wrote about the simplicity of making your own fresh ricotta:

"When it comes to most things around the house, I'm about the most unhandy guy you've ever seen. I can't hang a picture straight. But when it comes to cooking, I go a little do-it-yourself crazy. The last couple of weeks I've been making my own ricotta. Before you dismiss this as just another wacky fad, trust me — you've got to give it a try.

"It doesn't require any special equipment, and you can find all of the ingredients at your neighborhood grocery. And the results are so much better than almost any commercial ricotta you can buy that you won't believe it's the same stuff. This is ricotta you can — and maybe should — eat by itself."

It takes just a few ingredients and the cheese comes together in less than an hour. Taste freshly homemade against a store-bought brand and there's no comparison. Take a look at the video above for a step-by-step tutorial to see how easy it is, then check out these recipes:

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or shoot me an email at


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Homemade ricotta

Total time: About 45 minutes

Servings: About 1 pound, or 2 cups

Note: This recipe requires the use of a thermometer.

9 cups whole milk

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 tablespoons distilled vinegar

1. Heat the milk and buttermilk in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat to a temperature of about 185 degrees. Stir in the salt and vinegar and remove from the heat. Let stand until curds have formed, 5 to 10 minutes. Pull the curds gently to the side.

2. Line a strainer with cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Using a perforated skimmer, gently lift the mass of curds out of the pot and into the cheesecloth-lined strainer. Repeat until no more curds remain. Discard the remaining whey.

3. Drain the curds for 5 minutes, then transfer to a covered container to store in the refrigerator until ready to use. The ricotta is best used the same day, but will still be good for 2 to 3 days.

Each one-fourth cup serving: 110 calories; 8 grams protein; 2 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 8 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 24 mg. cholesterol; 2 grams sugar; 163 mg. sodium.

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