Home-made ricotta

I’m inspired by new ideas and like to be creative and I was delighted to find a ricotta recipe in the beautiful book Picardy by Marian Somes. Only published this year, PicardyPicardy is a ‘richly illustrated memoir of a gardening life and a celebration of all things french’. It’s ‘the story of the 25-year-quest to turn a lush green paddock in Victoria’s Gippsland into an ode to Claude Monet’s Giverny’.

Chapter 8 is beautifully titled ‘Cooking and carousing’ and features some wonderful recipes that I’m planning on cooking this summer like the spinach and ricotta gnocchi and the tartlette of tomato and goat’s cheese with a drizzle of basil-flavoured oil.  Making gnocchi is on my to do list and when I as flicking through this book it was the gnocchi that caught my eye. I’m willing the spinach in the garden to grow some more (I only need 750grams!!!)

Anyway, I digress. Today’s recipe is the ricotta which is so easy to make. I’m going to be using it to make a Silverbeet, Feta and Ricotta pie (stay tuned). Before setting out to make this recipe I made sure I had a muslin cloth. A couple of months ago I was trying to make lemon curd and used a ripped linen shirt as a draining cloth. It did not work. In my efforts to rescue the lemon curd I also tried using a brand new Chux cloth but that didn’t work either. So it was a must for me to find a muslin cloth. I had to search around to find a muslin cloth this time of year as people use it also for making puddings. I could not find in supermarkets and it was a kitchen shop I purchased it from.

So here is the recipe (page 168 from Picardy)

Ingredients

  • 2 litres of full cream milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 teaspoons of citric acid
  • 1/4 cup water

Method:

Add the salt to the milk in a stainless steel saucepan, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick, and bring to near boiling (90-5ºC). Remove from the heat.

Dissolve the citric acid in the water and add to the milk, it will curdle.

Leave the pan of milk on the bench until cool enough to handle.

Line a sieve with a scalded paper dishcloth or muslin cloth and pour in the curds. Leave to drain in the fridge 1–2 hours in the refrigerator. The ricotta is best used fresh, but will last 2–3 days in the fridge.

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