I've made mozzarella cheese and goat cheese before, but none have been as easy as Ricotta.
I saw it on the Food Network a few weeks ago and kept the ingredients in mind. When I went to find buttermilk, however, I was informed that it's illegal for local creameries to sell it! Huh??
Anyway, I finally found out that Kalona Super Natural makes a buttermilk. I love their yogurt, so I figured, you can't really screw up buttermilk, right?
All the ingredients you need...
8 cups milk (I suggest whole... I used skim... I suggest whole.)
1 cup cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons of lemon juice (free ingredient for the purpose of this recipe)
Put all the milks together and slowly bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally to keep it from scorching. This takes some time, but then again, they say watched water (or milk) never boils.
Once it does boil, and I mean really boil, not just froth, add the lemon juice. It immediately starts to curdle. Stir carefully for about 2 minutes. It's more of a "moving around" than a stir.
Spoon the curdles into a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Let it sit for an hour.
There you have it! Delicious, fresh, homemade Ricotta cheese. No special equipment, no tricks or hints... just straight forward use of the curdle.
(How's that for a tease?... I guess I'm learning something from working for the news.)