Soft and mild in flavor, ricotta (meaning "recooked") is an Italian whey cheese that can be used as a spread for bread and crackers or to top off a delicious bowl of fresh pasta. It's also surprisingly easy to make at home!
What you need
In a saucepan, slowly heat milk and heavy cream on low-medium. Using a thermometer, bring up to 175F. Give the milk a stir, so it begins to swirl and slowly add lemon juice at the side of the pan.
Once the milk forms curds gently pull them from the bottom and sides carefully. Add salt (optional). Once the temperature reaches around 185F, remove from heat and let sit
Strain & Dry
Line a colander with the cheesecloth. Using a slotted spoon or mesh skimmer, transfer curds into the cheesecloth and let drain for one hour. Gather the corners of the cheesecloth and gently squeeze any excess whey. For drier ricotta, let it drain overnight in the refrigerator.
You will yield about 3 cups of finished ricotta cheese. Place in a quart container with a lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.