Homemade Ricotta Cheese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 2 plus to 3 plus cups fresh ricotta
 
Straining time: 1 to 2 hours or overnight.
Recipe adapted from Brooklyn Farmhouse
ingredients:
  • 8 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (more or less to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or white vinegar
directions:
  1. Line a large strainer or sieve with a double layer of cheesecloth * and place the strainer over a large bowl.
  2. In a large pot or saucepan, bring the milk, cream, and salt to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to keep milk mixture from scorching. If you have a good kitchen thermometer, about 180 to 185 F is the ideal temperature to bring it to.
  3. Add all the lemon juice or vinegar, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring gently once or twice, for 2 minutes. The mixture will curdle immediately. When you've got a ton of curds, remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. After 45 minutes to 1 hour, pour the mixture into the cheesecloth lined strainer and let strain for an hour or two. Do not press down on it, let it strain itself. Discard the liquid whey (or keep it and use it for bread baking!) and refrigerate the ricotta or use immediately. If you want it really dry, wrap it back up with the cheesecloth, leave it in the strainer over the bowl, weighted down with something heavy, and refrigerate overnight.
notes:
* If you can't find cheesecloth, paper coffee filters work well.
Recipe by parsley sage sweet at http://www.parsleysagesweet.com/2009/05/04/eating-my-curds-and-ditching-the-whey/