Lay three layers of cheesecloth
over a colander.
Add the milk to a large heavy pot and place over medium-high heat. Stir in the lemon juice and salt and heat until an instant-read thermometer reaches 175 degrees F. The milk will begin to just bubble and start to steam. At this temperature you'll begin to see the curds separate from the whey
. Be mindful of over stirring the ricotta while the curds are forming, you don't want to make your ricotta stiff. Let it sit for 5 minutes undisturbed and you will be left with a very creamy and pleasant finished result.
Gently remove the curds from the pot to the colander
. Use the side of the cheesecloth to very gently release some of the liquid. Tie up the curds using butcher's twine and let drain
for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the cheesecloth and place in a bowl. Serve warm on toasted bread with lemon zest
and a drizzle
of extra-virgin olive oil
Cook's Note: Refrigerate leftover ricotta
in a covered container for up to 5 days.