- In a large saucepan, heat the milk, buttermilk and cream over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads about 85 °C (185 °F). Reduce the heat to low to maintain this temperature (the mixture should not boil or the curd will break). Let rest on the heat, without stirring, until a white curd forms at the surface, about 30 minutes. The yellowish whey will separate from the curd.
- Line a colander with 3-ply cheesecloth. Pour the curd into the colander and let drain for 30 to 45 minutes. For drier ricotta cheese, let it drain longer in the refrigerator. Transfer to a bowl. Season with salt to taste, if desired. Store in the refrigerator.
The cream is optional, but highly recommended if the ricotta is to be used to make desserts. Ricotta prepared with cream takes longer to drain.
Keeps one week in the refrigerator.
Sweet Ricotta for Pizzelle
Add 60 ml (1/4 cup) of icing sugar, 60 ml (1/4 cup) of grated dark chocolate and the grated zest of 1/2 lemon or orange to 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) of cooled ricotta.