2 litres full cream milk (homogenised, non homogenised either works fine)
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup of white vinegar or lemon juice
Sieve or colander (the smaller the holes the better)
Cheese cloth or if you don’t have it a couple of layers of chux works just fine.
Heat some milk, add some salt and acid, then wait for the magic to happen. Fresh ricotta takes less than 45 minutes to make and is a beautiful process to undertake; while watching the curds separate from the whey you’ll wonder ‘am I a kitchen magician?’ the answer is yes – you’ll never have to buy tubbed ricotta again.
Makes approximately 500g
Line the colander with a large piece of lightly dampened cheesecloth (or chux) that has been folded over itself once.
In a large heavy-based saucepan, over medium heat, heat the milk. Add the salt and stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. Make sure the milk does not scorch.
If you have a thermometer, heat to 93 C. If you do not have a thermometer, you need to reach a stage where there is a lot of steam, little bubbles close to the edge of the pot, as if it is just about to simmer (but don’t let it get there). It should take between 15-20 minutes to get to this stage.
As soon as you reach temp add the vinegar (or lemon juice) and turn off the heat. Give the pot a single stir to incorporate the vinegar. You will notice the curds (the ricotta) separating from the whey (yellowish liquid). Leave the pot untouched for 15 minutes. Not agitating the liquid will make for larger curds.
Carefully ladle your ricotta into the cheesecloth-lined sieve. The consistency of the final product will depend on the amount of time you leave the ricotta to drain. For creamy ricotta, let it sit for 5- 7minutes; for dryer ricotta, it can sit up to 20 minutes. If you prefer a smoother consistency, opt for the shorter draining time and use an electric beater to whip the ricotta until it is smooth.
Use immediately. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.