In my house, as long as there is cheesecloth lying around the house, store bought ricotta will never be acceptable. Homemade ricotta tastes INCREDIBLE! It's also cheaper and more flavourful than the stuff from the store. It's also really easy to make.
I rely on Smitten Kitchen's recipe, whose research on the subject is thorough and insightful. I added an extra tablespoon of lemon juice (she suggests 3) because I like the citrusy flavour you get from adding it.
3 cups Full cream milk
1 cup Whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Heat the milk, cream and salt to 90 degrees Celcius, or before it boils or starts making skins (Invest in a cheap little thermometer if this is your first time. They are about R20-R40 at a Plastic Land or Crazy Store). Stir occasionally to keep the milk from scorching. Remove from heat.
- Add the lemon juice, and slowly stir once or twice. Leave the mixture to rest for about 5 minutes. If you wiggle the pot, you'll see curds and whey have started to form.
- Pour the mixture into a strainer lined with 2-3 layers of cheesecloth and let it stand uncovered for 1 hour if you want very soft, spreadable ricotta. Keep on testing the consistency of your ricotta every 30 minutes to an hour until it's the consistency that you are looking for. Once it is the desired consistency, scoop the cheese into a container. You can keep it in the fridge for up to 2 days.
- Serve on freshly toasted bread, or as part of this trio of bruschetta
NOTE - You don't have to throw away the whey (the watery substance that flows through the cheesecloth. We'll do some recipes in future on what to do with the whey.