Creamy Ricotta

"I first tasted fresh ricotta when I was five," says Maria Helm Sinskey. "My great grandmother, who was straight from Italy, made it at her house." Fluffier, creamier and sweeter than even the best store-bought version, Helm Sinskey's ricotta is also incredibly easy to prepare.

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  • Servings: Makes about 1 3/4 pounds (3 1/2 cups)
KEY: Master Cook, Cocktail Party, Holiday Open House, Italian, Make Ahead, Vegetarian, Afternoon Tea

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Ingredients

  • 2 quarts whole milk, preferably organic
  • 1 cup heavy cream, preferably organic
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

How to make this recipe

  1. In a medium pot, warm the milk and cream over moderately high heat until the surface becomes foamy and steamy and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the milk registers 185°; don't let the milk boil. Remove the pot from the heat. Add the vinegar and stir gently for 30 seconds; the mixture will curdle almost immediately. Add the salt and stir for 30 seconds longer. Cover the pot with a clean towel and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.
  2. Line a large colander with several layers of cheesecloth, allowing several inches of overhang. Set the colander in a large bowl. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the curds to the colander. Carefully gather the corners of the cheesecloth and close with a rubber band. Let the ricotta stand for 30 minutes, gently pressing and squeezing the cheesecloth occasionally to drain off the whey. Transfer the ricotta to a bowl and use at once, or cover and refrigerate.

Make Ahead

The fresh ricotta can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Contributed By Published November 2008

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