Homemade Cheese: It’s Easier Than You Think

I’m not lying. It’s pretty easy. My first time was intimidating; I made some ricotta to stuff a duck confit for Thanksgiving. It turned out great and it only took about a half hour.

The most important thing to pay attention to is the temperature of the milk. If it starts to boil – or really even simmer – it’s going to scorch and your cheese is going to taste like burnt milk – blech. Thus, you really need a candy thermometer to watch it the temperature.

This can be made as creamy or as dry as you like, it only depends on how long you drain it. Once it gets dry (like below) some people start to call it farmer’s cheese. I’ve also understood that farmer’s cheese technically requires rennet, which ricotta does not. I’m not sure what the truth about that is, but I do know I love this cheese and I make it all the time – moist, dry, and in the middle depending on the dish.


Homemade Ricotta

    • 1 quart whole milk
    • 1 cup heavy cream or buttermilk (depending on your taste preference)
    • 1T white vinegar
    • salt
  1. Heat milk and cream slowly on stove top to 185-190 degrees
  2. While heating, line a strainer or fine colander with fine cheese cloth, doubled over
  3. Once milk has reached temperature, take off heat immediately and slowly add vinegar, salt and stir very gently just to mix.
  4. Cover for approximately 2 hours. DO NOT stir during this time.
  5. Pour carefully into your lined strainer and drain until it reaches the dryness you desire.
  6. Fluff, and either store or eat!

Try adding lemon zest or fresh herbs after its done. Or for dessert, some fresh and macerated fruit.