You may have tried my house-made cheese — a memorable experience for all. I’ve included it on my menus since 2011, sometimes calling it farmer’s cheese or Kat’s cheese. Recently one of my Italian friends tried it and said its name is Crescenza. My version resembles ricotta, but is much creamier and has a hint of salt. It’s great for breakfast, slathered on a big, toasty piece of Tartine bread, or with my freshly canned tomato jam recipe from last week’s blog. I also recommend it as an antipasti plate with pickled green tomatoes or fried cauliflower with ham hocks—if you want to give these pairings a try, I’ll be serving them on my pop-up dinner menu at Terroir Wine Bar on January 25th and 26th.

If you want to bring this little piece of heaven into your own kitchen, check out the recipe below.

Crescenza Cheese


• just a little less than ¼ cup Diamond Crystal Kosher salt
• 2 pints Straus cream
• 3 c. whole milk Straus yogurt
• 14 c. Straus whole milk


  1. Place a heavy-bottomed 5-quart pot on a burner set to medium heat. Add milk and attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Bring the temperature of the milk to exactly 200 degrees, intermittently whisking to prevent a film from forming on the top. You want to bring the temperature up gently, but not too gently, or it will not form curds well. This process should take about 30-45 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the cream, salt, and yogurt in a bowl. Let it set out while you are bringing the milk up to temperature. You want the mixture to be close to room temperature when adding it to the milk in the next step.
  3. When the milk is 200 degrees, add the cream mixture to it. Give it a stir with the whisk, then remove the whisk. Let the mixture come back up to exactly 200 degrees. When it returns to 200, turn the burner off. You should see lots of curds. Let it set for 10 minutes.
  4. Place the cheesecloth inside of a chinois. Put the chinois in a large bowl. Use a handled fine-mesh strainer to scoop the curds out of the 5-quart pot and place them in the chinois to drain.
  5. At this point, how long you let the curds drain is up to you. If you like the cheese looser, then let it drain 2 hours on the counter. If you like it a bit thicker, then put the bowl with the chinois in the refrigerator overnight.