So, I don't know how pronounce it, but it sure is delicious in just about everything. (I served mine over tomatoes with rosemary and balsamic.)
Granted, this isn't one of those projects that saves time or money. It'll end up costing about the same as buying it in the store, and won't taste hugely different.
But, if you have a kid around who likes science projects, or friends who will be impressed when you tell them you made the cheese they're eating--well, it's certainly worth doing once.
And it's easy and fun.
Time: 1.5 hours, start to finish--but an hour of that is "hang it up, set a timer, and do something else" time.
One half-gallon whole milk
One pint heavy cream
About 3/4 cup white vinegar
- One giant (big enough to make a huge amount of spaghetti) pot that you don't care much about, as it will likely get burn marks from this exercise.
- A colander
- Cheesecloth--enough to line aforementioned colander. Available at most grocery stores.
Pour milk and cream into large pot and bring to a full boil over medium heat (any higher, and you will likely burn your pan and have overflow onto your stove). Stir every few minutes to keep it from sticking/burning. Covering the pan for a faster boil won't hurt anything, so long as you keep an eye on it.
While that's heating up, clear your sink and set up the colander with the cheesecloth in it.
When the milk mixture boils, pour in the vinegar. You should see everything start to separate into curds and whey. Yes, it'll look gross. If you're not sure it's done this, slightly more than 3/4 cup vinegar won't hurt anything.
Pick up the giant pot of hot milk and pour it carefully through the cheesecloth and colander.
When the hot whey has run down the sink (and it's safe to do so), carefully pick up the cheesecloth from the corners and tie it into a little pouch. No need to squeeze.
Hang the pouch so that any extra whey can drip off of the pouched mixture. You don't have to be especially careful--I've certainly tied up the pouch, set it on a tiny wire mesh tea strainer to keep it lifted, and put the whole thing into a big Tupperware (I was late for a picnic). It worked out fine. The ricotta wants to become ricotta.
Leave it hanging for about an hour.
After that time, open the pouch, and you'll have cheese!
Here are some suggestions for what to do with it: http://www.countryliving.com/cooking/about-food/fresh-ricotta-meals-0608