Published: June 1, 2011
Ingredients in typical store-bought ricotta: whey, (pasteurized) milk, vinegar, stabilizer, modified food starch, guar gum, carrageenan, salt.
Ingredients in home-made ricotta: milk, cream, vinegar, salt.
Bottom line: Nobody ever invited friends over for some “guar gum and modified food starch.”
Make your own. It’s mind-blowingly crazy easy. And cheap.
3 cups whole milk $2 for a gallon
1 cup plus 3 tablespoon heavy cream $1.50 for a half pint
2 tablespoon white (5 percent acidity) vinegar $2 for 16 oz.
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste pantry
Total cost of ingredients: $5.50
Line a strainer with a cheesecloth and position it over a large bowl. Set aside.
Bring milk and 1 cup cream to a boil in a medium pot (watch it carefully so it doesn’t scorch). Remove from heat.
Stir in the vinegar and salt and let mixture sit for five minutes, until the milk curds completely separate from the liquid (whey).
Pour the mixture into the prepared cheesecloth-lined strainer and drain the whey, squeezing the cheesecloth to encourage the liquid to come out. Continue doing so until the mixture is the texture of cottage cheese.
Transfer ricotta to a bowl, season with more salt if desired, and stir in the remaining cream. Use immediately or cover tightly and refrigerate.
The ricotta will keep for about four days, but is best if eaten as soon as possible.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
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