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Homemade Ricotta(esque) Cheese

adapted from The Italian Dish
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Cheese
Servings 2 + cups


  • 2 quarts 1/2 gallon organic whole milk
  • 1 cup organic heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon Maldon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 lemon should be sufficient


  • Place a wire mesh strainer over a 2-quart bowl and line with 2 layers of cheesecloth. Set aside.
  • In a large, heavy-bottomed sauce pan (I used my 6-quart enameled cast iron pot), whisk together the milk, cream, and salt.
  • Cook over medium to medium high heat, stirring often, until it comes to a rolling boil. This will take a while. Be patient and don't rush it, or you will ruin the milk.
  • Once the milk has achieved a rolling boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the lemon juice.
  • Stir constantly, continuing to cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Ladle the curds into the cheesecloth-lined strainer, allowing the whey to drain through into the bowl.
  • Let sit for about 20 minutes before transferring to a covered container and refrigerating. (You can let it drain longer, but it will be dryer; conversely, less time draining will make a moister cheese.)
  • Use within 48 hours.


*I highly recommend going with the highest quality ingredients possible here. If you're going to go through the effort to make your own cheese, you may as well make the best cheese possible. Organic milk, therefore, is a must here. Next time, I will be trying to make this with raw milk.
*The whey that remains can be used in breadmaking as a liquid replacement. Since there is no rennent in this cheese, however, it cannot be used to make other cheese.