Add 1 1/2 gallons of milk, 2 cups of heavy cream and 1 teaspoon of salt to a heavy bottomed pan and heat, stirring occasionally, on medium until it reaches 180 degrees.
Once the mixture reaches 180 degrees, remove the pot from the burner.
After you have removed the pot from the burner, slowly add 1/2 cup of lemon juice to the milk.
Immediately after adding the lemon, stir gently to distribute. Then let it sit for 20 minutes, allowing the milk solids to form curds. * Agitating it breaks the curds and makes them hard to remove.
While the curds are forming, get your wire strainer ready. Set it over a bowl ( or anything) that will catch the whey as it drains. Place a double layer of cheesecloth in the strainer.
Gently, use the spoon to scoop the curds out of the liquid. The slower you move, the fewer curds will break. Small pieces will not form larger curds and are hard to remove. You'll lose some yield.
Then place the curds in the cheesecloth lined strainer. Continue removing all the curds in this way until none or few remain.
After the first round of scooping all the curds out, the liquid will still look like milk. Keep alternating adding 2 Tbs lemon juice, stirring, sitting, and scooping until the liquid is translucent.
When finished, gather the sides of the cloth and rock the cheese back and forth a little to release any trapped liquid, fold the cloth over the cheese and refrigerate until it stops draining.
This cheese is delicious with pasta, mixed with herbs and spread on crostini, or in pie. See my guide on making a 10" ricotta pie (easy). It is smooth and creamy when made with homemade cheese!