Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Homemade Ricotta

Previously I have talked about our adventures in cheese making including a recipe for making your own ricotta using the whey that is often leftover at the end of the cheese making process.

Our recent success making Ricotta Gnocchi left me in desperate need of a way to have fresh ricotta on hand even when I didn't have whey to use. A quick search through some of my cheese making books and the internet led me a very simple recipe that requires no fancy ingredients and no special equipment bar a thermometer and some cheesecloth. The end result is a very high yield of beautiful soft, creamy ricotta that is miles better then anything you will ever buy in the supermarket. And the best part? It requires a whole 30 mins of your time plus 2 hours for draining.

Depending on what you are planning on using it for, you could easily halve this recipe if you only wanted a smaller quantity.

Homemade Ricotta - 1 kg

4 litres full fat homogenized milk
4 cups (1 litre) full fat cream
1 tbspn salt
150ml white vinegar

Combine the milk, cream and salt in a large pot and stir over medium heat until the temperature reaches 85C - this will take about 15-20 mins.

Add the vinegar and stir for 15-20 seconds. Turn the heat off and allow the mixture to sit undisturbed for around 20 mins.

Line a colander with cheesecloth. Gently spoon the curds from the pot into the cheesecloth. Allow the mixture to drain for at least 2 hours. The longer you leave it to drain the firmer it will be.

Once your ricotta is finished draining it is ready to serve! Store in the fridge for anywhere between 7-10 days but it won't last that long!

Aside from making ricotta last weekend, Mr B and I managed to squeeze in a trip to Salmon Ponds for their 150th anniversary celebrations and were lucky enough to be accompanied by Mr B's brother and niece. The rain and the wind actually disappeared for a few hours so it was a lovely day to wander around the grounds and soak up a bit of sun.

There was so much to see and do between the multitude of food stalls, cooking demos and bands, not to mention the free face painting, maypole dancing, craft and ice cream for the kids. This was all in addition to the every day activities like feeding the fish, the historical museum and the hatchery!

After sampling the most delicious goat pie with yoghurt and elderflower dressing and indulging in a devonshire tea, our only mission left for the day was to make it to the front of the line for face painting. We had waited all day for the line to go down but all it seemed to do was get longer so we were left with no option but to persevere and wait....and wait....and wait.....

But all the waiting was worth it when this little one (who had never had her face painted before) saw the finished product in the mirror. The ladies doing the face painting were incredible to watch, they were so quick!!

I'm so glad we made the decision to go because it was a really fantastic day full of family, great food and new experiences and to top it all off we even got to play in the Autumn leaves.....


Mrs B xx

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