Ricotta Cheese, Homemade

you will need cheesecloth and a strainer to make the cheese

Ricotta Cheese Version #1:

makes about 2 cups

from Richard Ferretti at Gourmet

2 quarts whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Line a large strainer with a layer of cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl.

Slowly bring the milk, cream and the salt to a rolling boil in a 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Add lemon juice. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly, until mixture curdles, about 2 minutes.

Pour into the lined strainer and let drain for 1 hour (note: I let it drain for just a few minutes, so it does not become so dry).  After discarding the liquid, chill the ricotta, covered.  It will keep in the fridge for 2 days.

Ricotta Cheese Version #2:

from Russ Parsons at Los Angeles Times

makes about 2 cups or 1 pound

9 cups whole milk
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 tablespoons distilled vinegar

Heat the milk and buttermilk in a heavy pot over medium heat to a temperature of about 185 degrees. Stir in the salt and vinegar and remove from the heat. Let stand until curds have formed, 5 to 10 minutes. Pull the curds gently to the side.

Line a strainer with cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Using a perforated skimmer, gently lift the mass of curds out of the pot and into the cheesecloth-lined strainer. Repeat until no more curds remain. Discard the remaining whey.

Drain the curds for 5 minutes, then transfer to a covered container to store in the fridge until ready to use. The ricotta is best the same day but will still be good for 2 to 3 days.

The Italian Dish