Lately, I’ve been going back to basics and learning how to make the simple things from scratch. Over the years, I’ve learned how to make many things, the more complex the better, as I love challenging myself with new ingredients and techniques. But, I have never made things like butter, cheese or yoghurt from scratch and this is something I have always wanted to do and it’s a great skill to have as a home cook.
That’s what my Homemade series of blogposts will be about. Taking ingredients that we think nothing of buying in a supermarket and making them at home in a few simple steps. I’ve probably been watching a few too many food documentaries (Food Inc. and Farmageddon to name but a few) but it really seems that we have become a bit far removed from where the food we eat comes from and I think that a little bit more self-sufficiency wouldn’t go amiss. When eating at home, I always cook my meals from scratch (as tedious as it is sometimes and apart from the odd takeaway) and yet think nothing of picking up a tub of ricotta to use in my meals. There’s something a bit special about making your own cheese, a great sense of achievement and, of course, it tastes much better than the supermarket stuff. Now, I’m not saying that I make my own ricotta every time I need it but for those times when you want to make your meal a bit more special, this simple recipe for ricotta will be a welcome addition to your recipe arsenal. I’ll be putting some recipes on the blog soon which use this fresh ricotta so stay tuned!
All you need is:
1 litre milk (use full-fat and the best quality you can afford for the best flavour – I used full fat Jersey milk from Waitrose)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Muslin cloth or similar, to drain
- Pour the milk into a saucepan and heat gently until just before it starts to boil. It should be just starting to bubble gently around the edges.
- Take off the heat, add the lemon juice and stir through. It should look like curdled milk – that means it’s working!
- Place the muslin cloth over a bowl and carefully pour the cheese mixture into the bowl. Gather the edges of the muslin cloth and drain the curds from the whey. Leave to sit for 30 minutes before using and it is best eaten on the same day.