I recently have been inspired to make cheese at home. Because I am weird like that. And because with two kids, a husband, house, 5 chickens, and a half-time teaching job, I just don’t have enough going on- I also need to make cheese. A few weeks ago I made some farmer’s cheese that turned out great and that got me hooked. Here is an easy recipe for fresh ricotta. This ricotta is not like the grainy stuff that comes in a plastic tub for lasagna. This is like a very luxurious cream cheese. It’s very smooth and spreadable with a fresh milky flavor.
- 3 C. whole milk, not homogenized
- 1 C. whipping cream
- 1 t. salt
- 3 T. fresh lemon juice
Heat the milk and cream in a saucepan to about 190 degrees. A candy thermometer works great for this. The milk will be frothy and steaming. When the milk is hot enough, take it off the heat and stir in the lemon juice slowly – just a couple of stirs. Let the milk sit and curdle for about 5 minutes without stirring. Line a mesh sieve with cheesecloth and slowly pour the curdled milk into it over a bowl.
The whey will drain off and leave the curds in the sieve. Let the curds drain for at least two hours- three is better. What you have left will be a nice smooth lump, about 1 1/2 C. of creamy, fresh ricotta. Cover it a chill it and use it within a couple of days.