Ricotta from the shops can often be bland or rubbery – but this one made fresh is amazingly light and soft and totally delicious. And take the time to find really great quality milk – as you really do reap what you sow in this recipe. And if you leave it to dry in the colander, in the fridge, for 4 days you can bake it with lovely hardy herbs and olive oil.
Fresh from the garden: lemons
Recipe source: Kristen Allan, mighty cheesemaker
Makes: about 600 – 700g depending on quality of milk
· Citrus juicer
· Small stockpot
· A slotted spoon
· A ricotta colander
· Large mixing bowl
· Storage container
· 3 litres of good quality organic milk
· 150ml pouring cream
· 100ml lemon juice – 1.5 lemons?
· A pinch of good salt
What to do:
- Cut the lemons in half and juice the halves to yield 100ml. Spoon out the pips and discard.
- Measure out about 1cm of cold water into the bottom of the pot.
- Gently pour all the ingredients into the stockpot and stir.
- On the lowest possible heat, gradually bring the milk up to about 95C. This should take about one hour. Try not to stir the mixture too much, but make sure it is not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- At about 80C you should see curds starting to form and if you pull the curds away from the side of the pot, you will notice the milk starting to separate.
- Turn off the heat and leave for 10 minutes.
- Place the ricotta colander into the large mixing bowl to catch the whey. With the slotted spoon, gently scoop the curds into the colander.
- Drain for approximately 10 minutes or longer (2 to 4 days) if you want a firmer ricotta for baking or drying.
- Transfer to a storage container or eat while still warm.
- Refrigerate and use within 10 days.
Notes: What does ricotta taste like? Why make your own? What else do you make from scratch?