Lauren Chattman inspired me to try something I’ve never tried before. She made it sound so simple. Only four ingredients; that’s my kind of lazy gathering. She even inspired me to use an ingredient that I generally try to avoid like the plague (guess which one). Every now and then it is good to break with tradition and do something wild and crazy, out of the box.
Using a 6-quart saucepan, as advised, and watching to make sure that the milk, salt and cream heat to the boiling point, but don’t boil over. That is the tricky part. I’ve been gearing up for the past 24 hours, and I think I can handle the pressure. The saucepan must be removed from the heat prior to adding the final ingredient, the fresh lemon juice.
- 1/2 gallon (1.89L) whole milk
- 1 c (250 mL) heavy cream (whipping cream)
- 1 t Kosher salt
- 1/4 c fresh lemon juice
Mix the milk (2 liter container minus 4 ounces), heavy cream and Kosher salt in a 6 quart saucepan. Heat just to the point of boiling, without scalding the bottom.
Get your colander ready over a large bowl. Line it with an old cotton napkin or cheesecloth. The napkin can be washed and reused.
Just as the milk mixture comes to a boil, remove it from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Then don’t stir for 5 minutes. Watch as the milk curdles before your eyes, turning into cheese.
Pour the curdled mixture into the cloth lined colander after it cools for a few more minutes.
Let the mixture drain into the large bowl for 2 hours until it gets as firm as you would like. The ricotta can be served warm at this point or it can be refrigerated and used in the next few days. It won’t last long because it is DELICIOUS.
The first time I tried the homemade ricotta I served it on one of my favorite healthy breads, toasted. This bread is sold in health food stores in a frozen state. I thaw it just enough to slice it, then freeze it to use up slowly as needed.
Thank you to the Montreal Gazette for printing the Lauren Chattman article. You’ve succeeded in spreading the joy of making food from scratch. Thanks to Manna Bread for making delicious healthy bread. Thanks to Julia Richardson (sis) for lending a hand to this jittery cook and making the most amazing tart jam.