First: something I learned just recently...if you rinse your pot with water before putting the milk in, it won't scald the milk on the bottom of the pot ! How cool is that !
I had a 2L bottle of milk with a useby date of that same day, so I used it all, well, almost all. Just because I opened a new bottle, Ruby had to have a drink of milk, so 2L minus a bit of milk is what I used. I added that plus 1/2 a cup of cream and 1/2 tsp sea salt to a pot and brought it almost to the boil.
2L of full cream milk ( I used the non-homogenized milk), 1/2 cup cream and 1/2 tsp sea salt, almost at the boil. You can tell it's 'there' when you see steam rising off the milk and it starts to get frothy like this.
Add 3 Tablespoons of white vinegar or fresh lemon juice (I used vinegar) and turn heat down to low. Keep stirring and watch it separate into curds and whey - it won't take long.
And when I finished watching and marvelling at this amazing process of separation, I turned around to find this happy little dancer had quickly and quietly climbed up onto my kitchen bench with a BIG smile on her face. She danced a little jig and clapped her hands as I turned around - the little monkey ! And that's why I can't leave anything unattended on my kitchen bench which is really tricky sometimes as my kitchen is a tiny one and that bit of bench she is standing on, is pretty much the only bit of useable bench space in there !
Ok, so back to the ricotta...
After removing the distraction, take the pot off the heat and let it sit for 5-10 mins.
Meantime, prepare a sieve lined with some muslin cloth and prop it up over a bowl or jug.
Then pour your curds and whey into the muslin lined sieve like this...
Make sure you put the sieve over a big enough bowl if you intend to keep the whey, as there is a lot of whey, maybe 1-1.5 L, much more than there are curds.
The yellowish coloured whey is collecting in the bowl. It will gush through the sieve at first, then reduce to a drip. I only used a single layer of muslin. Keep the whey to use as a substitute for water or milk in your baking.
After 15 minutes the contents of my sieve (the ricotta) has reduced to this amount.
And my finished ricotta looks like this - quite firm and creamy to taste - yum. At this point you could drizzle it with honey, or mix it with some fresh herbs and spread it on bread or mix it with pasta for a tasty treat...mmmmmmmmmm...i think next time I might strain it for a shorter length of time, and leave it a bit softer for spreading.
This time i crumbled it over some cooked pumpkin...
Mashed it all together and added some chopped basil. i used this mixture instead of a white sauce in my lasagna for dinner - it was sooo good.