2 L 3.25% milk, at room temperature
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp kosher salt (Kosher salt is best, as the iodine in table salt can make ricotta taste bitter)
2 tbsp 35% cream
1. Line a large fine-mesh metal strainer with a triple layer of cheesecloth large enough to hang over the edges. Set over an 8-cup measuring cup.
2. Pour milk into a large, very wide saucepan and heat over high.
3. Stir often until milk becomes steamy and frothy around the edges or reads 185F on a thermometer, about 8 min. Turn off heat. Stir in lemon juice and salt. Let stand until the liquid turns a yellowish colour and milky-white curds float to the surface, about 2 min. Gradually pour mixture into the prepared strainer. Let sit, stirring curds very gently once or twice, until about 7 cups of liquid has drained off, about 5 min. Discard liquid.
4. Transfer cheese into a bowl. Refrigerate until chilled. Just before using, stir in cream. Ricotta will keep well, refrigerated, up to 1 week. Makes 1 3/4 cups.
Per 1/4 cup: 132 calories, 8 g protein, 1 g carbs, 11 g fat, 112 mg sodium.
Four ways to switch it up:
1. Low-fat ricotta
Omit cream. Ricotta will be less smooth.
2. Olive oil ricotta
Stir in 1tbsp extra-virgin olive oil along with cream.
3. Herbed ricotta
Sitr in 1tbsp finely chopped parsley, chives or thyme along with cream.
4. Lemon ricotta
Stir in 1tbsp lemon zest along with cream.