This ricotta is light, the consistency is soft, and the hint of lemon is really nice. I think if I make it again, I might not squeeze out all the liquid like I did here. I might retain just a tiny bit of it to keep it a little creamier, and I may even add a tiny pinch of salt. But overall I was really happy with the way this turned out. I spread some of the cheese onto a cracker and topped it with fig jam. YUM!
- Pour milk into a pot and set on medium-low heat.
- Grate lemon zest right into the pot.
- Heat slowly, until just about ready to boil. (Approx. 20 min) During this time, once or twice, stir very slowly.
- Eventually a think layer will form on the top layer. This is good. Do not stir too much at this point, because you do not want the newly forming solids to evaporate.
- When the milk is almost ready to boil, you may reduce heat a little to low, and add lemon juice.
- Curds will slowly start to form. Lower heat again slightly if necessary to keep from boiling.
- When a good, thick layer of solids have formed (after about 35-40 min), carefully scoop out solid curds with a slotted spoon, and place into the cheesecloth over a bowl to drain.
- There will be remaining milk still in the pot. You can repeat the entire process again with the remaining milk in order to get more solids, although the second time through it will not take as long to heat up, and you won't get as many curds.
- Let the cheese continue to drain in the cheesecloth. You can use your hands to lightly press the cheese into the cloth to drain out any excess liquid. (If you leave just a little bit of liquid, you will have a creamier cheese).
- Transfer fresh ricotta to a bowl or container. It is ready to eat at this point, or you could store it in the fridge for up to a week or two.