Fresh Ricotta is addictively delicious. It’s so good that once you taste the warm, tender curds, you’ll not be able to enjoy the commercial version again. You even get an additional bonus when you make your own cheese: the whey! I used to pour this liquid gold down the drain, but have corrected the error of my ways. The whey, which has attractive nutritional benefits, is a perfect substitute for water or stock in soup recipes and can replace buttermilk in biscuit recipes- yielding a lighter baked good.
2 q whole milk
1 c heavy cream
3T white vinegar or lemon juice
½ t kosher salt
Bring milk and cream to 185° in a 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Remove from heat and add lemon juice/vinegar. Stir gently for 30 seconds. Add salt and stir gently for an additional 30 seconds. Cover with a clean towel and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours.
Line a large sieve with layers of cheesecloth, allowing some overhang and place it over a large bowl.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer curds to the sieve. When almost all is transferred, gently pour the remaining mixture around the sides of the sieve. Collect edges of cheesecloth and gently squeeze the cheese a few times over the course of 10 minutes. Transfer to a container and store in fridge.
Store whey in fridge or freezer for other uses.