Alright, so I'll admit this isn’t technically real ricotta. In Italian, ricotta means "twice cooked" because it is traditionally made using whey that is leftover from the cheesemaking process. I don’t know about you, but I don’t normally have whey on hand, so this is how I make it at home. This recipe comes together in just 10 minutes (plus, an hour of inactive time), and it's easy and super tasty. While you can use vinegar, I find lemon results in a more tender curd and gives it a wonderful citrus essence.
Special kitchen equipment: 90-grade, pure cotton cheesecloth
Swap option: Use white distilled vinegar instead of lemon juice.
- 6 cups whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 very large lemon), strained to remove pulp and seeds
Line a large colander with 90-grade unbleached, pure cotton cheesecloth.2.
In a large, non-reactive stockpot, warm the milk, cream and salt over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to avoid a skin forming on the surface.3.
Bring to a gentle simmer and remove from the heat.4.
Add the lemon juice and stir to combine; let sit for 2 minutes, undisturbed.5.
Strain the mixture into the cheesecloth-lined colander.6.
Gather the cheesecloth to make a bundle, secure with twine and let hang over a large bowl for 1 hour.7.
Remove cheese from cloth and taste for seasoning.7.
Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use, up to 3 days.