Warning: once you give this homemade ricotta a try you will probably not want to get store bought again. The pureness and fresh taste is incomparable. You may substitute lemon for the white vinegar -it imparts a slight acidic lemony flavor. Yields approximately 2 1/2 cups. We do not recommend using lower fat or ultra pasteurized milks as they produce fewer curds.
1/2 gallon whole milk (8 cups, not ultra pasteurized)
1 cup heavy cream (not ultra pasteurized)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
3 Tablespoons white vinegar
1. In a medium sized saucepan heat the milk and cream to 190º, using a candy thermometer, stir occasionally. Add the vinegar and remove from heat. Stir in the salt and sugar.
2. Cover and rest for one hour.
3. Use a very fine strainer or three layers of dampened cheese cloth over a large bowl. Pour ricotta mixture into prepared colander and let it drain until it reaches desired consistency about 30 minutes or until the liquid runs cloudy instead of clear from the cheesecloth.