1 quart whole milk (950ml)
1/2 cup heavy cream (120ml)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Line a large sieve with a double layer of cheesecloth and place the sieve over a large bowl. Set this aside for later.
Slowly heat milk, cream, and salt in a 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring often to prevent scorching.
If you have a milk thermometer - the temperature should reach 190F/88C.
Add lemon juice, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly but gently, until the mixture curdles.
This should take about 2 minutes.
Pour the mixture into the lined sieve and let it drain 1 hour for a firmer cheese. For a softer ricotta, check it after about 1/2 an hour.
After discarding the liquid that has drained into the bowl, pack the ricotta in a well covered container.
Ensure it stays covered as it will pick up a slight taste of onion or any other strong-flavoured foods that may be in your refrigerator.
Fresh ricotta should keep for about 2 days.
Yield: Approximately 1 cup of ricotta cheese. This recipe can be doubled.
I like to make small toasts from leftover french bread or challah - brush each piece with garlic infused olive oil and toast in the oven until fairly dry. Allow guests to spread them with choices of fresh ricotta, basil pesto and a few sun-dried tomatoes. Easy and delicious appetiser!