Yields 4 cups

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Come Il Cacio Sui Maccheroni

Oh the Italians do everything right with this homemade ricotta cheese recipe. There is nothing as easy to make and as satisfying to eat.  Lasagna, cheesecake, lathered on toast and pizza, in an omelet, the list goes on it’s endless.  For crying out loud live a little with this easy to make cheese. Bon Appetit Magazine gives you 57 recipe ideas for ricotta cheese, your bound to find one that suits you.

1 gallon raw whole milk

1 tablespoon salt

1 cup plain yogurt

⅓ cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 to 3 lemons)

In a double boiler out of 2 large pots, pouring enough water in the bottom pot to come at least halfway up the sides of the top pot.  Pour the milk into the top pot and heat over medium-high heat until the temperature reaches 190°F (88°C) on a candy thermometer, about 15 minutes. 

Add the salt, yogurt, and lemon juice to the milk, and stir with a wooden spoon for about 30 seconds to mix everything together.  Reduce the heat to low or turn it off.

Maintain the milk’s temperature at 190°F for the next 25 minutes, lifting the pot out of the water if the milk gets to hot and returning it as the temperature drops.  Whatever you do, DO NOT stir the milk while the ricotta curds are forming.  After 25 minutes, use a skimmer to carefully lift all the ricotta curds out of the whey and transfer them to a fine-meshed strainer (no need to use a cheesecloth) set over a bowl. 

Allow the ricotta to drain for about 1 hour, then pour off any of the drained whey from the bowl and gently dump the ricotta from the sieve into the bowl.  Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

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