Prep Time: 24 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 24 hours, 30 minutes
- 1/2 gallon milk
- 3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
When it reaches the desired temperature, turn off the heat, cover the pan, and leave it in a warm spot -- an oven that has been heated briefly or has the pilot light on is perfect -- for 6 hours.
Line a sieve or a basket with a double thickness of cheesecloth or a coarse, porous towl, rinsed first in cold water, and set it over a bowl. Ladle the curds into the sieve and season them with salt, roughly a half-teaspoonful. (The whey, which will drain into the bowl, can be used for baking.) Refrigerate overnight or until the cheese is well drained. For a thicker, firm cheese, tie the ends of the cheesecloth over a wooden spoon balanced over a bowl and let it hang until all the whey has drained out.
Fold back the top layers of the cheesecloth or toweling and turn the cheese carefully out onto a plate. The imprint of the cloth will be left on the cheese. This cheese will stay sweet and fresh for 5 to 7 days.
Author's notes: "Traditionally, ricotta is made with whey, a by-product from cheese making, but since that's not usually available, this recipe uses milk. The same cheese is also called curd cheese or quark. Either whole milk or low-fat (2%) milk can be used. Whole milk yields a richer, creamier cheese." --Deborah Madison
Yield: about 1 pint
Source: The Savory Way by Deborah Madison (Bantam)
Reprinted with permission.