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Sunday Cooking Lesson: Homemade Ricotta Cheese - A Family Feast

Sunday Cooking Lesson: Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Total time listed does not include time required (1-2 hours) for the cheese to drain.

Yield: 2 1/2 cups 1x
Prep: 5 minsCook: 10 minsTotal: 15 minutes


  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 23 lemons)


  1. Place a fine mesh strainer over a deep bowl and line with 3 or 4 layers of cheesecloth, making sure that the cloth hangs over the edges of the strainer. Set aside.
  2. Combine the milk, cream and salt in a large saucepan over medium heat. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the sauce pan and heat the milk mixture, stirring occasionally.
  3. When the mixture reaches 190 degrees, remove from the heat and add the lemon juice, giving the mixture a gentle stir.
  4. Allow the mixture to set for 5 minutes (you’ll start to see some small curds form), then carefully pour the curdled mixture through the cheesecloth-lined mesh strainer.
  5. Allow the whey to drain for 1 to 2 hours – depending on how wet or dry you want your cheese to be. As the ricotta drains into the bowl, avoid having the bottom of the strainer sit in the whey. (Pour off any excess whey so that the ricotta will fully drain.)
  6. Store refrigerated in an airtight container up to 4 days.

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