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Freshly Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Warning: Once you have made this ricotta cheese, you won’t be able to buy store-bought ricotta again. There is just no comparison. This cheese is so delicious and so simple to make. You will need to have a fine mesh strainer and cheesecloth handy.

Ingredients

3 cups of whole milk – I recommend buying the best organic glass bottled milk you can find

1 cup of heavy cream – ditto for the cream

Pinch of salt

Juice of 1 lemon – this must be a regular lemon and NOT a meyer lemon – meyer lemons do not have the acidity to break the milk into curd and whey.

Bring the milk and cream mixture to a simmer at a temp of 180 degrees.

Bring the milk and cream mixture to a simmer at a temp of 180 degrees.

Set up the strainer over a large bowl or pot to capture the whey. Drape several layers of cheesecloth over the strainer.

Set up the strainer over a large bowl or pot to capture the whey. Drape several layers of cheesecloth over the strainer.

Here you can see the separation of the curds from the whey as its poured into the strainer.

Here you can see the separation of the curds from the whey as it’s poured into the strainer.

Here is the finished product: ricotta cheese.

Here is the finished product: ricotta cheese.

Steps

Warm the milk and cream and salt in a nonreactive pot over medium high; stir until you reach a simmer. Do not boil the milk mixture. Once the mixture has reached simmer; turn off the heat, and add the juice of one lemon. Stir as the mixture separates into the whey (liquid) and curd (cheese).

Let the mixture sit for a few minutes. Meanwhile, set up a bowl with the strainer resting on top of it. Line the strainer with a several, layers of cheesecloth, making sure that cheesecloth drapes over the edges of the strainer.

Pour the mixture into the strainer and let it sit for at least 20-30 minutes. Once the liquid has mainly passed through the cheesecloth, take the edges of the cloth and twist them tightly around the bundle of curd, wringing out more liquid until you all that is left is a soft cheese inside the cloth.

Use a spoon to scrape and gather all the ricotta cheese from the cheesecloth and place in a container to chill in the fridge. The liquid whey can be reserved and used instead of water for cooking oatmeal or other uses.

Serving Suggestions:

You can serve the ricotta with a drizzle of honey and ripe figs; or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil and vine ripe tomatoes…You can use it instead of cream cheese or creme fraiche with smoked salmon or other smoked fish. Thanks to @Newschoolofcooking for this recipe.

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