Homemade Ricotta
I have eaten ricotta pretty much all my life. Back in the 80’s, my earliest memories were of my father taking our sieve to the local cheese factory and coming home with beautiful fresh, white, creamy ricotta. Mum would make all sorts of lovely things with the ricotta, but my favourite was simply making toasted, crusty bread, topping it with homemade strawberry jam and topping it with fresh ricotta and eating that for breakfast!

I introduced the yummy ricotta toast to my hubby when we got married and it is now one of his favourite treats. He equally grew up with ricotta as it is front and centre to a lot of Sicilian dishes.

Two years ago, we went to visit my mother’s relatives in a little village near Naples. They served us some fresh ricotta which was locally produced. In Italy, ricotta is typically made with ewe’s milk. This was the BEST ricotta we ever ate. It was like eating white, creamy clouds of cheese. Just divine.

This recipe is really simple and produces an excellent result and in only 15 minutes! It is worth the extra effort to make ricotta at home as the one sold in shops is grainy and dry and seldom fresh.

With this batch, I made Ricotta & Sage Ravioli for dinner and Ricotta Pancakes for breakfast.

TIP: Make sure you use white vinegar as it does not impart flavour on the cheese. You really cannot substitute this for any other type of vinegar as the ricotta will taste gross. If you do not have white vinegar, you may use lemon juice, however the results are much better with white vinegar.

Ingredients:

  • 2 litres of whole cream milk
  • 4 tablespoons cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons white vinegar
Method:

    1. Place the milk, salt and cream in a heavy based saucepan.
    2. Bring the milk to the boil on high heat.
    3. Once it is boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the vinegar. Stir once to distribute the vinegar (don’t stir too much). Simmer for 2 minutes. Switch heat off and let the mix rest for 10 minutes. The cheese curds will form and float to the top leaving the yellow liquid whey at the bottom.
    4. Line a sieve with a clean chux or cheesecloth and sit it on top of a container/bowl/smaller pot. Pour the cheese into the sieve to allow the whey to drain completely.
    5. The cheese is now ready to use or it can be stored in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.