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Buttermilk-Ricotta Cheese Dip

Buttermilk-Ricotta Cheese Dip
Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett
Hands-on time 40 mins
Total time 13 hrs, 10 mins
Yield

Makes 1 1/2 cups

If you've never tried homemade ricotta, then you're in for a tasty surprise. This will change the way you think about the store-bought kind. Be sure to stir only when indicated in the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole milk (preferably organic)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole buttermilk (preferably organic)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (preferably organic)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Cheesecloth
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and dried crushed red pepper
  • Assorted crackers

How to Make It

  1. Bring first 4 ingredients to a simmer, without stirring, in a heavy nonaluminum Dutch oven (about 9 1/2 inches in diameter) over medium heat; cook, without stirring, 20 to 25 minutes or just until bubbles appear and temperature reaches 175° to 180°. (Do not boil.)

  2. Stir gently, and return to a simmer. Cook, without stirring, 5 to 6 minutes or until temperature reaches 190°. (Do not boil or stir. Mixture will look curdled.) Remove from heat, and let stand 30 minutes.

  3. Line a fine wire-mesh strainer with 3 layers of cheesecloth, and place over a bowl. Spoon mixture into strainer. Cover with cheesecloth; chill 12 to 24 hours. Remove cheese, discarding strained liquid.

  4. Spoon cheese into a serving bowl; drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and crushed red pepper. Serve with crackers. Refrigerate dip in an airtight container up to 2 days.