Be sure to use organic milk when you make ricotta, and you will find it very easy to achieve the perfect texture for many dishes. I use ricotta in manicotti, lasagna, and even just on toast with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.
Makes about 2 cups.
- 2 c organic low fat milk
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp salt or to taste
- In a 4-quart or larger non-reactive pot, pour in the milk and set up a candy thermometer in the pot. Set the burner to medium low. Cook the milk until it reaches 190 degrees F, stirring occasionally, so as to avoid scorching the bottom. (Important: As the milk reaches close to 190 degrees it may suddenly swell and rise, so stir well and be ready to remove it from the heat before it boils over.)
- Add lemon juice, and stir a few times. The curds will begin to separate from the liquid whey.
- Allow to stand undisturbed for 5 minutes.
- Stain the ricotta in a yogurt strainer, or use a colander lined with damp cheesecloth or muslin and placed over a bowl. Gently scoop the curd from whey, placing it in the strainer; allow to drain at least 5 minutes (up to an hour for a dryer texture).
- Add salt if desired, and store in an air tight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.