MAKE CURDS & WHEY
1. Pour the milk into a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven.
2. Over medium-high heat, raise the temperature to 190°.
3. Turn the heat to low & add the acid powder. Stir gently.
4. Keep stirring. Watch closely. Look at that! You're making cheese. The curds are separating from the whey.
5. Turn off the heat.
6. Using a wooden spoon, lightly agitate the curds in the warm liquid, encouraging the formation of a "raft" of curds.
STRAIN THE CURDS & FINISH THE RICOTTA
7. Line a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth. Place that strainer over a vessel that can hold the strainer without your assistance and keep the drained whey out of contact with the draining cheese.
8. Strain this mixture for about 20 minutes at room temperature.
9. After straining, transfer the ricotta to a mixing bowl.
10. Add some of the hot water, folding with a rubber spatula. It's not necessary to add all of the water--the more you add, the moister the final cheese.
11. Now drizzle the buttermilk & heavy cream into the cheese. Sprinkle in the salt. Fold gently with a rubber spatula.
12. Transfer to a small container & refrigerate, covered, until ready for use. Use the ricotta within a week.