- 1/2 gallon whole milk . Organic is better . Homogenized and Pasteurized is OK . ULTRA Pasteurized is not OK
- 1 tsp salt
- 12± leaves of basil
- 1/3 C lemon juice and 1/3 C vinegar (or 1/2 C rennet)
- up to 1/2 C heavy cream
STEP BY STEP
- Add basil to the milk
- Heat milk mixture on medium high until it simmers
- Heat until temperature hits 190º or higher. Not more than 195º
- Add lemon and vinegar (or rennet)
- Stir to incorporate and simmer 3 more minutes
- Remove from heat
- Stir occasionally for the next 15 minutes
- Let rest for 5 – 10 minutes – Remove basil leaves
- Spoon into cheese cloth
- Use your best judgement: Let it drain until the whey has drained from the edge of the cheese, but the center is still very moist. This will take ABOUT 8 minutes.
- For a denser ricotta, let it drain until the center is also no longer wet (about 15 more minutes)
- Turn out into a bowl – a bit of residual whey is OK.
- Mix by hand – Add a touch of cream for a smoother consistency – Not too much though, you don’t want it to get runny.
- Let rest for at least 2 hours in the fridge before using
- Will keep for up to 7 days (covered) in the fridge