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Butteryum food blog recipes

Whole Milk Ricotta Tutorial

Patricia Reitz

Whole Milk Ricotta Tutorial - ButterYum

I recently made whole milk ricotta cheese from scratch and I just have to say, I might never go back to buying store bought again.  The process is unbelievably easy and the end product is absolutely amazing.  I urge you to give it a try - you won't be disappointed. 

The process is very simple.  Start with a gallon of raw milk, 2 cups of organic heavy cream, 6 tablespoons of distilled vinegar, and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt.

You'll also need a 6-quart stainless heavy-bottom saucepan.

A large bowl and large mesh sieve or colander.

Line the sieve with a very clean tea towel.  You could use a few layers of cheesecloth is you like, but a linen tea towel works perfectly well. 

Heat the milk and cream together over medium-high heat.

Use a digital thermometer to monitor the temperature of the milk and cream.  Make sure the probe doesn't rest against the bottom or sides of the pan.

My thermometer kept falling over so I propped it up in a glass. 

When the temperature reaches 185F, turn off the heat.

Add the distilled vinegar.

Stir gently for about 30 seconds, then add the salt and stir for another 30 seconds.

Like magic, the curds will start to form before your eyes.  

Cover the pan with a lid and let it rest for about an hour.

Use a fine mesh strainer to gently remove the curds from the whey.

Allow the curds to drain.  The ricotta will firm up when chilled so stop draining it when it's still a bit looser than you think you want it. 

Prepare to be amazed!

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Printable Recipe


  • 1 gallon organic whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt


  1. In a stainless steel heavy-bottom 6-quart or larger stockpot, heat milk and cream over medium-high heat until it reaches 185F.  
  2. Turn off heat and stir in vinegar; stir gently for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add salt; stir gently for another 30 seconds.
  4. Cover stockpot with lid and allow the mixture to stand for 2 hours.
  5. Place a large mesh strainer in a large bowl and line the strainer with a clean cotton or linen kitchen towel.
  6. Using a mesh skimmer or slotted spoon, gently lift the ricotta curds out of the whey and place in the towel lined strainer.  
  7. Drain for a few minutes and transfer mixture to an airtight container.
  8. Refrigerate for up to a week.  Recipe makes about 2 pounds

Notes:  This ricotta can be used for sweet or savory recipes.  For savory recipes, you may want to stir more salt (to taste) into the finished curds. The longer you drain the curds, the more dry and firm the finished ricotta will be when chilled.  If your ricotta turns out more firm than you like, simply stir some whey or heavy cream into the ricotta.  Also, don't throw away the leftover whey - it can be used in so many ways.  Freeze it in small batches and use it instead of water in your bread recipes, cook potatoes/rice/oatmeal, use it in smoothies and protein drinks, soak and/or cook grains quinoa, etc.   Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Family Meals.