I’ve been wanting to try making my own cheese for some time now but have never quite plucked up the courage. I wasn’t sure how or where to get my mits on some rennet and didn’t even know if it would work without unpasteurized milk. But this week, during some food blog browsing, I happened upon a recipe for ricotta that didn’t call for any strange ingredients and looked ridiculously simple. In fact, I had everything on hand except the milk.
Honestly, the hardest part of this recipe was holding off making it until the end of the week so it would be fresh for a herb tart. Although there was another incentive driving me to hold out, this week a great little food shop opened in Exeter selling locally produced and sourced ingredients for a reasonable price. I popped in after work and picked up some creamy, fresh milk from cows living half an hour down the road. I was sorely tempted by the beautiful, rustic bread but instead picked up a bundle of pink rhubarb (destined for a Mother’s Day dessert) before heading home.
So anyway, back to the cheese. How can something so quick and easy taste so good? It had a delicate milky flavour like a good mozzarella and was smooth and soft unlike dried-out ricotta you get from the supermarket. I couldn’t resist spreading the still-warm cheese onto the first cracker I came across and wished I’d bought that bread. Next time (and there will be a next time) I want to try adding some fresh herbs, maybe thyme or chives.
From David Lebovitz on Simply Recipes
- 3 pints full cream milk
- 250ml live yoghurt (low-fat worked fine)
- 125ml double cream
- 2 tsp white vinegar
- 1tsp salt
In a large pan bring all the ingredients to the boil. Boil gently for 2 minutes, the curd should separate from the whey.
Line a sieve with cheese cloth or muslin and set over a large bowl or jug. Pour in the curds and whey and leave to drain for 15 minutes.
Gather together the edges of the cheese cloth and gently squeeze out the excess liquid. The more you drain the cheese, the grainier and dryer it will be.
Allow to cool. Store in the fridge for up to three days.