I will just come out and say it; store-bought Ricotta cheese is not great. No flavor, too much salt at times, etc. And it is too bad, since Ricotta is great for many day to day uses. Ricotta on toast with honey is delicious. Ricotta on a grilled peach with a reduced balsamic drizzle is refreshing on a summer day.
"Too bad Ricotta is terribly difficult to make at home" you might lament to yourself. But worry no more, because that could not be further from the truth!! Within an hour or a little over depending on how long you let it drain, you can have fresh Ricotta cheese in your own home where you control the flavor and salt content. Never buy store bought again. Or even better, buy one more small container of it and taste test it against the one you made. I promise, you will never go back to that stuff. About the only special equipment you will need is an inexpensive probe thermometer to tell you when your milk and heavy cream reach 195°F.
2 qts Whole Milk
1.5c Heavy Cream
As Needed Salt
1. Bring up to 195°F
¼ c Lemon Juice (or vinegar)
2. Stir in lemon juice and kill heat
3. Line a strainer/colander with a tea towel or double folded cheesecloth
4. Let sit 5 minutes and then pour into the lined strainer.
5. Let rest and strain for 20 minutes up to an hour. The longer it drains, the denser it will be.
6. If not using immediately, transfer to plastic bag or covered bowl. Use within 3-5 days.