homemade ricotta

The key to making really good ricotta is to use the best quality milk and cream you can find. The longer you let the mixture drain, the thicker the ricotta will become. Fresh ricotta will keep for up to three days, but it’s best used the same day it’s made.

1 quart (4 cups) whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  1. Place a large sieve over a large glass bowl. Line sieve with 2 layers of cheesecloth. Set aside.
  2. Pour milk, cream, and salt into a stainless steel or enameled pot (such as a Le Creuset). Bring to a full boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent bottom from burning. Remove pot from heat and stir in lemon juice. Allow mixture to stand for5-10 minutes until mixture curdles (see cook’s note.)
  3. Using a large spoon or ladle (not a slotted spoon), carefully transfer mixture into prepared sieve and allow to drain into bowl at room temperature for 30minutes (ricotta will firm even more as it cools). Transfer ricotta to a bowl and discard cheesecloth. Discard liquid (or whey), or save it for another use. Cover ricotta and refrigerate until ready to use.

Makes approximately 2 cups.

cook’s note: If mixture doesn’t curdle right away when you add the lemon juice, add in a bit more, 1 tablespoon at a time.