4tbsp (¼ cup or 60ml)fresh lemon juice OR white vinegar
Heat the whole milk, heavy cream, and salt over medium heat in a Dutch oven, clipping a thermometer on the edge of the pan if desired. Heat until just before it begins to boil, stirring occasionally. Tiny bubbles will form around the edge and, if using a thermometer, it will register 190° F.
Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice or vinegar and stir to combine. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the curds to form.
Line a large sieve with two layers of cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl. Pour the curds and whey through the sieve, where the curds will stay in the cheesecloth and the whey will drain into the bowl.
For a thinner, looser ricotta cheese, drain for only a few hours and then refrigerate. For a thick cream cheese (my preference) fold the flaps of the cheesecloth over the curds and place the whole thing in the refrigerator overnight. When you un-mold the cheese the next day, it will be very thick and cream cheese-like in texture.
Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Use in any recipes calling for ricotta cheese.
Recipe can be doubled or halved. Adjust your saucepan size to account for the difference.