Ricotta Cheese

Yep, that's right. I made ricotta from scratch! (Although this was way back in January, so I'm a bit lazy getting this posted here)
I found the recipe from this site via Pinterest, and was way excited to try it. It was pretty quick and easy just like the pin said.
I will say that this recipe didn't make quite as much cheese as I thought it would, so I went back to the store to do a cost analysis to see if it was worth it to make my own cheese. I compared the sum of the cost/ounce of each ingredient with the price of store bought ricotta and found that the home made ricotta is two cents more expensive per ounce than the store bought. It is WAY superior in taste and texture, but a bit more money. So it's up to you, is two cents worth it to have AMAZING cheese? 
Besides the price, my other hold up about making this regularly was the fact that you have to buy a whole big thing of buttermilk, but then you only use 1 cup of it. Same problem with the cream that you buy for this. It wasn't until a month or two later that I found this gem on Pinterest and discovered that I can freeze my buttermilk and my cream for future use so I could buy the ingredients for this cheese when they're on sale, portion and freeze them, and then be able to make cheese whenever I want. That might even make up the cost difference.  
The original blog has some pretty great instructions and pictures, so I'm going to just copy in the recipe and maybe add a few notes and pictures of my own. From here on anything that is italics is from me and the rest is from FramedCooks.

4 cups whole milk
One cup buttermilk
1/3 cup heavy cream
Coarse salt
1. Line a fine mesh strainer with several folds of cheesecloth and set it in your sink.
2. Combine milk, buttermilk and cream in medium heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil until cooking thermometer registers 185 degrees...if you don't have a thermometer, keep an eye on it to see when the curds (the solid white parts) are mostly separated from the whey (the cloudy liquid). This will take about 10 minutes...stir a couple of times during the boiling process.(I ended up adding a small splash of lemon juice to get a few more curds out of the batch than the buttermilk alone produced. It wasn't a ton more, but every little bit counts, right?)
3. Remove from heat and using a slotted spot, scoop spoonfuls of the curd into the cheesecloth-lined strainer, sprinkling with a little salt every few spoonfuls or so.
4. Let the ricotta drain for about 5 minutes and then taste to check the consistency. If you like it drier, then let it drain a little more. If you like it moister, stir in a tablespoon or two of milk. This ricotta is best used right away, but will keep for a day or two in the fridge.
That's all the cheese the recipe made, but it was enough for some awesome home made lasagna for our dinner that night! 

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