Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta is one of the most versatile ingredients in the kitchen: it often makes for the main ingredient in baked cheesecake, it adds a wonderful richness to any vegetable bake (especially potato), it is delicious baked in the oven with some honey drizzled over and a sprinkling of seeds or herbs and even served fresh with a tomato salad.

Ricotta is easily available but believe me, homemade is just sooo much better!

1 litre full cream milk

500ml double thick cream

5ml salt

45ml white vinegar

Pour the milk and cream into a large saucepan. Stir in the salt and bring it to the boil over a low heat, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar.

Leave the mixture to stand for two minutes until it curdles. It will separate into curds and whey.

Line a large sieve or colander with a damp piece of muslin cloth and place this over a large bowl or sink.

Pour the milk mixture into the sieve and leave for 40 minutes.

You can scoop the mixture into a container to refrigerate or drain it even further by hanging the cheese in muslin cloth bound by string and then tying it to a wooden spoon, leaving it overnight to drain and firm up in the fridge – as in the above picture.

You now have wonderfully fresh ricotta to utilise as you please.

Thickly sliced tomato, basil, fresh ricotta and a generous drizzle of olive oil

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