Made a batch of ricotta at home last night, for baking into a cake with quinces & hazelnuts today. Which would then be good with a bottle of Italian sweet wine, perhaps a passito from Pantelleria, or vin santo. Or a botrytised semillion.
Here's a simple method for making ricotta (recipe thanks to Bryan Martin):
- take 2 litres of whole milk and bring it up to 90 degrees, stirring so it doesn't catch (a jam or candy thermometer is useful here)
- when it gets to 90 degrees, add salt and the juice of a lemon, reducing the heat
- give it 10 minutes on lowish heat for the curds to form, gently scraping the bottom of the pan to avoid catching (but try to avoid stirring the curd too much)
- ladle the curds and whey through two layers of cheesecloth or muslin in a colander over a large bowl
- drain the curds for at least 20 minutes (overnight is also fine), pressing if you want a tighter cheese.
Eat the cheese, or cook with it, over the next couple of days. If you want a creamier cheese, add some cream to the starting milk. Vinegar or citric acid can also be used to curdle the mix.