Homemade Ricotta sounds like a lot of work, I know, but trust me it is actually pretty darned easy. If you rinse the pot with cold water before pouring in the milk it will save you some serious cleanup. The reserved liquid whey can go into soups, stews and curries. It can also be used to cook pasta and rice. The liquid whey will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
1 Gallon High Quality Organic Whole Milk
2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
1/3 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice (Typically 1 Large Lemon)
You will need a large colander for this recipe. Line the colander with a layer of cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl (to save the whey). Wet the cheesecloth to hold it firmly in place. To make the ricotta you will need a large heavy pot. Rinse the pot with cold water before pouring in the milk. Bring the milk and salt to a gentle simmer over a medium high heat. Stir in the lemon juice and continue to simmer gently for 2 minutes. You want the curds to begin to form and float to the top. They will first look like spatters of white and then gather into soft clumps that look like little clouds. You will see the liquid begin to clear of cloudiness and the curds firming up, but not hard. This is when you need to scoop them out with a slotted spoon. Let the curds drain thoroughly in the colander. If the curds are very soft press gently to extract just a little of the moisture, but do not squeeze dry as you don’t want to dry out the cheese. Transfer your homemade ricotta to a large bowl. Cover and chill for 2 hours. Make 1 1/2 pounds.