There is simply nothing like home made Ricotta cheese. There are so many things you can do with it: eat it from a spoon, put it in lasagna, stuff cannelloni, piggies in blankets, make bread with it, and so on. I have even found a flavourful ricotta doughnut recipe. The list is long and distinguished and every growing thanks to inventive minds. It is easy-peasy to make and provides and almost instant treat when complete. My favourite thing to do with it is eat it like the Greeks do: with strong espresso coffee and a drizzle of honey–it is simply divine!
Put a gallon of milk (fresh from the cow if you have access, but store-bought will work) in a large pot.
Heat until the milk reaches 200 degrees F, do not let it boil (it will be very close to boiling as it approaches this temperature).
Add a few tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar (apple cider or white, both work fine) and stir gently for two minutes.
Turn off the heat and let the pot sit for 10 minutes while the milk curdles into cheese (what will be in the pot is actually Little Miss Muffet’s curds and whey).
Strain through a jelly bag or cheese cloth catching all the curds. Save the whey and make bread, muffins, or pancakes with it. I always use it to make Italian Whey bread–it is fantastic bread!
Let it strain until it stops dripping, about a half an hour. I tie an elastic band around the jelly bag and hook it over a cupboard handle. While not high-tech, it works! Viola, you have ‘cottage industry’ or ‘artisan made’ ricotta cheese.
Whenever I make ricotta, I reward myself with the special Greek treat: Spoon some in to a bowl immediately and pour a couple of tablespoons of strong espresso coffee over it, drizzle over some honey and sprinkle cinnamon and enjoy!