In preparation for my tomorrow’s blog post on a gluten free appetizer recipe, I thought I’d share my homemade ricotta cheese recipe. Making your own ricotta cheese ensures no gluten cross-contamination. Though most makers of ricotta do not use gluten in their factories, they may use gluten as a thickening agent, or their thickening agents may be cross-contaminated with gluten.
I was never been a big fan of ricotta cheese, and if you feel the same, you probably have never had homemade ricotta cheese. It’s incredible when compared to the ones you purchase in grocery stores. They add gums and stabilizers which create an undesirable, rubbery texture. Homemade ricotta is soft and creamy. I’m sure you’ll appreciate this naturally gluten free ricotta cheese recipe.
Homemade ricotta cooled just long enough to not be rubbery, but soft and creamy.
- 3 cups whole milk*
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream**
- 3 Tablespoons white vinegar***
- Bring milk and cream to a simmer (180°F) in a sauce pan over medium heat until curdles form. Stir often to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan; and watch carefully to prevent boiling over.
- Once curdles form, you will notice that they will eventually begin to separate; remove from heat and add vinegar; stir; and allow to rest for about 5 minutes. (If you allow it to rest for long periods it will become rubbery.)
- Line a colander or mesh strainer with 2 to 3 layers of cheesecloth moistened with water.
- Pour the milk/cream mixture into the strainer and allow to drain until it reaches your desired consistency. (Some like it wet, while others like it drier. It depends upon its use.) You can always drain it more later, if needed.
- Oil a container for storing; add cheese; and compress into the container. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 4 - 5 days.
To avoid the ever so catastrophic problem of milk boiling over, you may consider heating the milk and cream in the microwave for a couple of minutes, though microwaves remove nutrients.
*To make low-fat ricotta, use low-fat (2%) milk and use 1 cup more milk.
**You may also use buttermilk to substitute for the heavy whipping cream and vinegar. It all depends up what you are using it for. Whipping cream and vinegar works well in sweet dishes and buttermilk in savory dishes.
***For those who are allergic to yeast (vinegar), you may use lemon juice, however, the acidity in lemons vary, therefore you'll have to judge on the amount to use. In addition, lemon is best used in sweet dishes, where vinegar is best used in savory dishes.