Fresh Ricotta Cheese

As written in Field & Feast: We used to make our ricotta with vinegar instead of lemon juice, but found the resulting whey slightly astringent and not so great to cook with – even though throwing it out felt like such a waste. Now we use lemon juice, which makes for a slightly sweet whey that we can repurpose in all sorts of dishes, and the cheese benefits from that slight citrus note. Don’t skimp on the cream – this cheese is extra luscious because of it.

Makes about 2 quarts Ricotta and 3 quarts Whey


  • 1 gallon Whole Milk
  • 4 cups Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 tsp. Fine Sea Salt
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed Lemon Juice


  1. Combine the milk, cream and salt in a large heavy pot, then place over medium heat and, stirring frequently, bring to 190 degrees F. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the lemon juice. Let the mixture stand undisturbed until the curds and whey have separated, about 15 minutes.
  2. Line a sieve with 3 layers of cheesecloth and set over a large bowl. Ladle the curds into the sieve, then gather together the edges of the cheesecloth to form a sack. Tie the edges of the cheesecloth around a wooden spoon, then hang the cheesecloth over the bowl and let it drain completely, about 3 hours.
  3. Transfer the ricotta to a container and refrigerate until ready to use. Transfer the whey to a separate container and save for another use. Both the ricotta and whey will keep, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.

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