Since the day I first made ricotta, I vowed never to buy it in the store again. I have recently discovered that my specialty foods vendor carries a much better ricotta than most of the other ricotta on the market but I still like to make it myself, and let me tell you, it’s easy!
1/2 gallon Whole milk
1/2 quart Buttermilk
1 tsp Salt
Stainless steel pot
•Combine whole milk and buttermilk in a stainless steel pot.
•Heat on low-med until the mixture registers 175° F.
•While this is heating, remember to use a rubber spatula to scrap the bottom of the pot, I usually just make one stroke through each time I stir.
•Cheesecloth usually comes folded, you will need to un-fold it and cut it double the size that’s needed, I usually cut a rectangle 10″x20″, fold it in half so it’s 10″x10″. Place it in the colander.
•Once the milk has reached 100°F do not stir. Once it gets to 170 it should pull away from the sides of the pot; if not, let it cook another few minutes. The whey should be yellowish and beginning to clarify. At this point turn it off and let it sit off the heat for one hour.
•Using a ladle, scoop the curds into the cheesecloth, half way through, sprinkle half the salt on the curds then continue to ladle the remaining curds. Pour remaining curds and whey out of the pot and into the cheesecloth, then sprinkle with the remaining salt.
•Bring the corners of the cheesecloth together and tie them together with twine. Tie the other end to a large spoon or dowel and hang over a bucket to store in the refrigerator. Hang for 2-3 hours, then remove the cheese from the cheesecloth and place it into a bowl. Wrap well and cool overnight. The longer it hangs, the stiffer the cheese will get.