I made cheese!! Okay it's a bad picture, but I made cheese! And it was easy. Thanks to my favorite cooking couple, Gabriele Corcos and his wife Debi Mazar on The Cooking Channel's Extra Virgin, I have made cheese. This is a wonderful , fun recipe that is so good served warm on toasted bread with lemon zest, a drizzle of olive oil and some cracked black pepper. I imagine that this will become a staple in our house. I just used a thin dish towel that was folded over instead of using cheesecloth, but do what you are most comfortable with.
4 cups whole milk
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, plus the zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 baguette, sliced and toasted
Extra-Virgin olive oil for serving
Lay 3 layers of cheesecloth over a colander.
Add the milk to a large heavy pot and place over medium high heat. Stir in lemon juice and salt and heat until an instant read thermometer reaches 175 degrees. The milk will just begin to bubble and steam. At this temperature you will see the curds separate from the whey. Do not over stir while the curds are forming, you don't want the ricotta to become stiff. Let sit for 5 minutes undisturbed.
Gently remove curds from the pot to the colander. Tie the cloth using butcher's twine and let drain for 5 to 10 minutes. I hung mine from the faucet. Remove from cloth and place in a bowl. Serve warm on toasted bread with lemon zest and a drizzle of olive oil.
Refrigerate leftover in a covered container for up to 5 days.