3tablespoons lemon juice or white vinegarfreshly squeezed
Line a colander with a large piece of lightly dampened cheesecloth that has been folded over itself at least 3-4 times. Place the colander over a bowl. Make sure to use non-reactive materials. (Alternatively, you can use a recycled ricotta basket placed on a bowl).
In a large heavy based saucepan, over medium heat, heat the milk.
Add the salt and stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. Make sure the milk does not scorch.
If you have a thermometer, heat to 185 F. If you do not have a thermometer, you need to reach a stage where there is a lot of steam, little bubbles close to the edge of the pot and the formation of a slight film. It should take about 20 minutes to get to this stage.
Lower the heat to low.
Add the lemon juice (or vinegar).
Slowly agitate the mixture for 2 minutes. You will notice the curds (the ricotta) separating from the whey (yellowish liquid).
Remove from heat.
Cover pot and let stand for about 20 minutes.
Carefully “ladle” your ricotta into the cheesecloth lined colander or your basket. The consistency of the final product will depend on the amount of time you leave the ricotta to drain. For a creamy ricotta, let it sit for 3-5 minutes; for a dryer ricotta, it can sit up to 20 minutes.
Use immediately. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.
Replace the lemon juice with an equal amount of white vinegar.
Reduce the draining time for a creamier consistency.
Homemade ricotta cannot be made with ultra-pasteurized milk...so, read your labels.
Use fresh ricotta immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Can I use organic milk? In theory, yes. As long as it is not ultra-pasteurized. PLEASE NOTE that when I was testing this recipe, I attempted to make ricotta with organic milk and on 3 different occasions, it did not work for me. Can I use Meyer lemons to make homemade ricotta? No, since this variety of lemons does not have the same level as acidity as regular lemons.What is whey? Whey is the liquid that is formed following the addition of the lemon juice and after straining the curds.What can I make with whey? The leftover whey is great to use when making bread, pizza, pasta or even in soups.Can you freeze ricotta? Yes.Yield is about 2 cups or 200 grams. Inactive time: 20 minutes1 serving = 1/2 cupPlease keep in mind that the nutritional information provided below is just a rough estimate and variations can occur depending on the specific ingredients used.