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Making Homemade Ricotta

Take the time and make this lovely-rich cheese and you will never go back! I promise you. It only takes 1/2 hour after you prep, and you have a fresh cheese for numerous meals.
Course Cheese
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 cups
Author America's Test Kitchen - Dinner in Italy


  • 1/3 cup lemon juice - about 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 gallon pasteurized whole milk - not ultrapasteurized or UHT
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  1. Line a colander with cheesecloth (2-3) layers and place in a clean sink.
  2. Combine the lemon juice and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Heat milk and salt in a heavy bottom pot over medium-heat, stirring until 185 degrees is reached.
  4. Remove from the heat, and slowly stir in the vinegar mixture until thoroughly mixed and it begins to curdle around 15 seconds.
  5. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, until mixture is fully separated into solids and whey is clear.
  6. If the mixture has not curdled add an additional tablespoon, until separated.
  7. Gently pour into the colander.
  8. Let sit until whey has drained from the edges leaving the center moist.
  9. Place in a bowl and break up the curds and stir in the small amount of whey.
  10. Refrigerate ricotta until cold about 1-2 hours.
  11. Can be refrigerated up to 5 days.