Homemade Fresh Ricotta
Makes about 1 cup
Jennie has some really great images of the cooking process on her blog. My only change was adding a little bit of lemon juice towards the end to coax the curdling process along. Also, be careful when doubling the recipe and make sure you begin with a large enough pot–when the milk comes to a boil it has the potential to foam up and spill over the sides. This caused a big ol’ mess during one of my first attempts. If you see this happening, simply skim off some of the foam and curdles off the top and add it to the cheese cloth–there will be some clumps forming on the top before the rest of the liquids have fully separated.
1 quart whole milk
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1. Add the milk, cream, buttermilk, and salt to a large heavy pot (a 5 or 6-quart Dutch oven will do the trick) and set it over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and be careful that the liquids don’t spill over the top.
2. Meanwhile, line a fine mesh sieve or strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth–you will need about a yard, folded into a neat square. Place the strainer over a large pot or bowl (you may need a second one on hand in case the first gets too full).
3. Once solids begin to form on the top, add the lemon juice. The curds will begin to separate from the whey. Once most of the liquids in the pot have curdled (you will see fine little bits in your ladle), remove from the heat. Spoon the curds into the cheese cloth and allow to drain for about 30 minutes. Once very little liquid is seeping out of the bottom of the cloth, gather it together into a buddle and chill in an airtight container in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Remove the cloth and store covered for up to 2 days.