Why buy conventional dairy ricotta when it is the easiest cheese you can make?
All you need is a good grass-fed-only dairy supplier. If you can't find grass-fed-only, use the dairy you like. I suggest a good local organic dairy is the next best choice.
If you are asking, "What is 'grass-fed-only' dairy?!", well, it means that the cows who produced the milk were solely pastured on grass, not grain fed. This is healthy for the cows, and more healthy for us, and the planet. All that makes me feel good about consuming dairy:)
So, the recipe is simple:2 L whole milk
1 L buttermilk
500 ml heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
4 18-inch squares of cheesecloth
Line a large colander, sieve or bowl with 4 layers of cheesecloth. Set aside.
Combine milk, buttermilk, heavy cream, and salt in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally for the first 10 minutes. Continue heating, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 190 degrees F or until the mixture froths. Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes. The mixture will have separated into curds and whey.
Pour your mixture into the cheese cloth lined colander or sieve (placed over a large bowl to catch some of the whey), or like in my photo, just use a big bowl, making sure to keep the curds in the centre of the cheesecloth and the corners of the cheesecloth not submerging.
Gather up the corners of the cheesecloth and tie together around a wooden spoon. Suspend the wooden spoon over a large bowl (I use a big spaghetti pot actually), and let drain for an hour. Keep some of the whey to add back if you would like a more liquid texture, you can mix it back in to your ricotta. I usually do - I add back around 1/4 to 1/2 cup of whey. Keep your ricotta in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy when you like! Use this ricotta to make my Lemony Grass Fed Only Ricotta Red Fife Ravioli that I made for the 2017 Equinox Dinner at TH Wines last week.