---------- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.02
  
       Title: HOMEMADE RICOTTA CHEESE
  Categories: Dairy, Italian
       Yield: 1 servings
  
            - Chuck Ozburn HBWK07A
  
   Unlike most other fresh cheeses - cottage and cream
   cheese, for example - the  curd  of  this bland, light
   cheese is formed by the direct addition of acid to the
   milk, not by fermentation. For that reason the time
   required to make it is generally short.
   
   If you haven't used this Italian favorite before, try
   it in place of cottage cheese, as well as in Italian
   recipes for such dishes as lasagne and manicotti.
   You'll find it is a bit creamier than most cottage
   cheese, with a much  finer curd.
   
   For a pleasant light milk dessert, sweeten ricotta
   slightly and top it with a  sprinkling  of  grated
   chocolate or cinnamon.
   
   2 qts  regular milk 3 tbsp distilled white vinegar or
   1/4 cup strained fresh lemon juice Salt, if desired
   
   Pour  the  milk  into  a  heavy stainless-steel or
   enameled saucepan and stir  in the vinegar  or lemon
   juice; set the pot over very low heat and bring the
   milk very slowly to a simmer ( a reading of 200F on a
   thermometer).  There  will be fine beads around the
   edge of the milk, which will  look foamy but will not
   appear to be boiling; remove the pot from the heat and
   set it, covered, in a spot where the temperature will
   remain fairly uniform at a reading between 80 and 100
   degrees; (an unheated oven, without a pilot light, is
   a good spot) let the milk stand for about 6 hours or
   until a solid curd floats above the liquid (the whey);
   more or less time may  be  required, depending on the
   temperature of the environment and the characteristics
   of the milk; line a fine sieve with doubled dampened
   cheesecloth (or better yet, two layers of very
   fine-meshed nylon curtain netting, dampened) and set
   it over a bowl; dump the curds and whey into the sieve
   and allow the whey to drain off until the ricotta is
   yogurtlike; if you want a firmer cheese, tie the
   corners of the cloth to form a bag and hang it up to
   drain further; (in warm weather, the draining might
   well be completed in the refrigerator; when the
   texture of the cheese is to your liking, add a little
   salt (from 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon) if you wish; store the
   cheese, covered, in the refrigerator; it will be at
   its best after it has chilled for  24 hours, and it
   will keep well for 4 or 5 days. Makes about 1 pound.
  
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