Fresh Ricotta Cheese

I did a lot of research before I began. Most recipes online call for using whole milk and cream, but since I had 2%, that's what I went with. In the recipe that follows, I'll include alternative suggestions that I came across.

(Makes 4 cups cheese)


Large pot/stockpot
instant read thermometer
cheese cloth


1 gallon milk (use either 2% or whole milk. You could probably get away with 1%, but it might not be as good)
1 cup heavy cream (I only used one cup, as opposed to most recipes where a gallon of milk necessitates two, as that's all I had, and it turned out better than fine).
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (you can apparently use apple cider vinegar, but this doesn't seem right to me)
1 teaspoon salt

(You can halve the recipe to make less cheese)

Combine milk, cream, and salt in large pot and heat over medium until thermometer reaches 180 degrees. This, apparently, is very important, as you don't want to scald the milk and make burnt cheese. You never want to let it come to a boil-but it should be steamy and getting frothy by the time it hits 180. Stir often so the milk doesn't burn.


Once your milk is at desired temp, add lemon juice and reduce heat. Stir every so often; you'll cook it about 4 more minutes, until curds start to form. Look for curds that are distinctly separated from the whey; they will be whiter, and seem like little bits of ricotta.


Once this occurs, remove from heat and allow to cool a bit (for about 20 to 30 mins). Meanwhile, line a LARGE strainer or colander with cheesecloth (about 3 layers thick). Once milk cools, pour slowly into cloth lined strainer and allow to drain for about an hour and a half.


Cheese, covered in a glass bowl or tupperware container, should keep for two days.


Then, I made Vegetarian Baked Ziti and it was awesome! We ate it for days!




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