Another gray day… which means I spent it in the kitchen.
Ricotta is one of my favorite cheeses and is very easy to make at home.
Adapted from my favorite website: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2011/06/rich-homemade-ricotta/
4c whole milk
1/2 tsp salt
3T lemon juice
Makes 1 heaping cup of ricotta
Mix milk and salt in a small saucepan and heat to 190 degrees stirring to make sure it does not burn.
Take the milk off the heat and add lemon juice (fresh is best but we have limitations here). Mix once or twice and then let it sit for 5 minutes undisturbed.
Gently pour the mixture into a strainer lined with cheesecloth. I did not have cheesecloth so I used coffee filters and that worked just as well. I put a bowl under the strainer to catch the whey, the extra liquid that separates from the cheese curds.
Let the mixture strain for at least 1-2 hours. The longer it strains the firmer it will be. It will also get firmer when cooled. You can now use the ricotta for anything from ravioli to spreading on toast with a little honey. Store any left over in a airtight container in the refrigerator. It also freezes well if you are not going to use it with in a week. Happy cheese making!
AND if you would like something to do with all that extra whey, I used it to make bread. http://terristable.blogspot.com/2011/02/what-to-do-with-whey-after-making.html