Many types of cheeses are not easy or convenient to make for the average DIYer, but fresh, soft cheeses like ricotta are actually very easy to make at home, and taste excellent too! You don't need much special equipment, aside from a cheesecloth and a sieve or strainer, and the ingredients are pretty simple as well. Homemade ricotta beats out store-bought by a mile, so the next time you're making lasagna, you might want to try this instead.

Ingredients

3 1/2 cups of whole milk*

1/2 cup of heavy cream*

1/2 tsp of salt

3 tbsp fresh lemon juice

*For a creamier, richer ricotta, replace a half cup of whole milk with an additional half cup of heavy cream!

Directions

  1. Line a seive or strainer with fine-mesh cheesecloth and put it over a large bowl.
  2. Combine milk, heavy cream, and salt in a 6 quart pot and bring it to a rolling boil over the stove, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Add lemon juice and reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring constantly until your mixture curdles. This will take 2-5 minutes.
  3. Pour your mixture into your lined strainer and let it drain for about an hour. The longer you let it drain, the firmer it will become. Discard the liquid (unless you want to use it for something else) and enjoy the ricotta immediately, or pack it away in an airtight container in the fridge. It'll stay fresh for about 2 days.

Enjoy your ricotta spread on a toasted slice of french bread and topped with honeyed figs, or wherever else your cravings take you!

Photo Credits: Over the Hill & on a Roll