Ricotta

Italian sheep’s-milk cheese

Cris Bowers

The Ricotta Eaters [1580] by Vincenzo Campi [1536–1591]

Cris emailed this recipe to me enthusiastically one day, full of praise for how easy it was. Ricotta was traditionally made in Italy using sheep’s or goat’s milk, but it works just as well with cow’s milk, or even buffalo milk.

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Serves 4. Prep time: 40 minutes.


Ingredients

  • 500 ml whole milk [2% works fine]
  • 250 ml double cream
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar (or malt vinegar or lemon juice)

Method

  1. Combine the milk, cream, and salt.

  2. Bring just to the edge of boiling.

  3. Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar.

  4. Leave it to curdle for 5 minutes.

  5. Take a deep bowl and set a fine-mesh strainer lined with a double layer of cheesecloth or butter-muslin on it.

  6. Pour the mixture in and put the whole thing in the refrigerator.


It’s spreadable in about 20 minutes, but the longer you let it strain the thicker and drier it gets. Letting it go for an hour will yield about a cup (500ml) of thick, delicate cheese. The slightly acidic whey can be used for recipes calling for buttermilk 🔗; or fed to the pigs, should you happen to keep them.


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