Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Homemade Ricotta

My best friend and I have a competition we play each other when we go on holiday. It's really simple and if you can find someone to play it with you, then I would strongly recommend it.

The game is to bring each other back the most horrifically tacky present you can find. There are obviously unspoken rules:-

It can't be too big. Where the shiz would we put/get home a four foot straw donkey wearing a sombrero?

It must be so ugly, words cannot describe its ugliness. I'm talking foul-bad-nasty ugly. Not cute ugly.

It must be relevant from the place it was purchased. I'm talking snow globes from the Alps, sangria jugs from Spain, plastic bratwurst from Germany, Eiffel Tower key rings.

Bonus points if it has the name of the destination on it.

Past gifts have involved sparkly dolphin bottle openers from the Maldives, a pink fluffy camel bag from Gran Canaria, Roman penis fridge magnets, sangria shot glass sets from Spain and a Hershey's kiss cuddly toy dressed up like the Statue of Liberty. We mean business over here. I doubt either of us will be declared the winner; we're that good.

I like to see our game as an added bonus memory that we bring back from our holidays. You can store them alongside your memories of sand between your toes, sweet gelato, nearly being killed by an Italian taxi driver, watching a waiter flambé your dinner by your table, being harassed to buy citrus fruit on a Moroccan beach, and eating honey drenched ricotta as you watch the sun set.

558ml/1pint whole milk
300ml cream
1/2tsp salt
2tbsp fresh lemon juice
1tbsp white wine vinegar

1, Stir the milk and cream together in a medium sized saucepan and place over a medium/high heat.
2, Bring it up to a rolling boil and then remove from the heat.
3, Stir in the salt, lemon juice and vinegar and leave to stand for 15minutes.
4, After 15 minutes you should have lumpy white soft solids floating around in pale slightly translucent whey. If it hasn't separated, add a bit more lemon juice, stir and leave for another 10 minutes.
5, Place a sieve over a bowl and line the sieve with a cheesecloth or a clean jay cloth. Gently transfer the lumpy mixture into the sieve with a large spoon. They whey will drain out of the bottom.
6, Tie the edges of the cheesecloth together and suspend over the bowl. If you want smooth creamy ricotta hang for around 20minutes. If you want your ricotta a bit firmer, hang for longer. I left mine for around 25 minutes so it was soft and spreadable.
7, This will keep in the fridge for around 3 days in an airtight container.


  1. Delicious, I haven't made cheese in ages and never Ricotta, I must give it a go.

    Love the tacky souvenirs :-)

    1. Thank you Jude. I caught the cheese making buzz after making labneh a few months ago. I love a tacky souvenir too :)

  2. What a fab game - reminds me of something my friends and I would 'play' at uni involving the ugliest men we could find... perhaps it's best not to go into too much detail here!
    Love the ricotta and love your spelt crackers too - lovely reflections on 16 year old self :)

    1. Thank you Katharine. Sounds like your game was slightly more fun than a straw donkey!

  3. wow, home-made ricotta! yum. love ricotta for baking, one of my fave dairy products.
    can i also say i love the crinkled-then-smoothed brown paper background and may have to steal that idea soon... ;-)

    1. Thank you :D. I will be the first to admit that I have a crinkled paper problem. I know there are some purist food bloggers who hate things like it (together with ribbon and twine) but it's just easier than having stacks and stacks of different boards and backgrounds!