OK, so maybe I’m going a little nutty putting up a homemade ricotta recipe, but a.) not everyone outside of a major city can get fresh ricotta; b.) it’s amazingly easy, but, most importantly; c.) I’m a fermented dairy and/or cheese freak. You’ll need:
2 quarts whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Combine the milk, cream and salt in a large pot and gently bring it to the boil. Meanwhile line a large strainer with a double layer of cheese cloth. When the milk mixture is at a rolling boil add the lemon juice and reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir the mixture every now and again for about two minutes, until curds form. Place the lined strainer in the closest sink and pour the curds and whey into it. Allow the mixture to drain for at least an hour. Remove the cheese to a bowl, cover it and chill it in the refrigerator.
If you’re making ricotta cream for cannoli, place the strainer over a bowl, cover the cheese lightly with plastic wrap, and put the whole works in the fridge to drain overnight.