I was making some Homemade Mozzarella and wanted to make Ricotta.
The Ricotta cheese is made is my adding an additional amount to the acidified whey that is left after you have made your Mozzarella (Ricotta means "re-cooked").
The Whey has to be fresh and does not hold well. So what do you do if you just want to make Ricotta cheese?
Here is a recipe that is not exactly the classic way but will get you where you want to be. You may make this whenever you want and not have to make Mozzarella first.
Homemade Ricotta Cheese Recipe print version
about 1 lb. of Ricotta Cheese
1 gallon Whole Milk
1/4 cup fresh Lemon Juice
a large colander lined with very fine cheesecloth
Put the milk in a large, stainless sauce pan and heat slowly to 200 degrees (buy a thermometer!), stirring to prevent it scorching.
When the milk is 200 degrees, add 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice. The milk will instantly curdle, separating creating clumps of curd.
If this doesn't happen, keep heating.
It isn't necessary to continue heating once the milk breaks, you will want to let it sit for a few minutes, with an occasional stir. About 10 minutes
Place your lined colander in the sink to drain
Pour the entire contents of the pot gradually foam and all into it. Don't rush, allow the water to drain through the cheesecloth.
You just made Fresh Ricotta Cheese! Allow the ricotta to drain and cool completely.
Bunch up the ends of the cheesecloth up and tie into a bag and suspended over the sink ( I tie it to the faucet) until it stops dripping.
It takes about an hour to be completely drained. Refrigerate or Freeze it immediately in a suitable tightly sealed container till you are ready to use. You may season with sea salt if you like. You also may add 2 - 3 table spoon-fulls of Heavy Cream ot create a creamier Ricotta.
What s great to know is that if your mild is about to expire you may make ricotta and freeze it rather than throw money down the drain. Enjoy!