When Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet, you can bet your bottom dollar that her curds and whey were still warm from her hands on Nonnas’ freshly made pot. That silly spider didn’t frighten her away; she was already on high alert because she’d snuck her warm bowl of curds from the pot and was hiding on that tuffet. Miss Naughty Muffet was on the look out for her grandmother to pounce. Well, the spider pounced instead and we all know how that story ended.
This recipe might end up having your Nonna up in arms about it’s lack of authenticity in its’ method, but if there’s one thing we’ve learnt, it’s that cooking has rules that are meant to be broken, not frighten you away. Especially if breaking them gives you licence to play, be courageous and creative. After all isn’t that it’s all about? Except if you’re a spider of course.
2 litres of good quality milk.
Supermarket brands aren’t as generous in their output of curd.
300 mls thickened cream.
The gelatine also helps with a perfectly soft set of curd and not as much whey in the split.
1/2 teaspoon citric acid.
You’ll find it right next to the baking powder in the baking aisle
and 1/2 teaspoon of salt
because salt makes everything taste better.
a 2.5 litre pot
A large colander for draining
A bowl that fits neatly under the colander
A super clean sink
2 new chux wipes or muslin
Put all the ingredients into a pot. Turn the heat up high, and once there’s a little movement in the milk, turn it down to it’s lowest flame, (even change burners so the flame is almost non-existent) and watch it slowly split. It will take around 10 minutes and you’ll see a definite curd or fluffy white mass that will look like white scramble sitting in a pale yellow whey.
Whilst the milk is splitting grab 2 fresh chux wipes or muslin and rinse in the hottest water from your tap, wringing out well. Line your biggest colander and sit the colander in your perfectly clean sink.
Carefully and slowly pour the split milk into your colander, and once drained, place the colander, draining in a bowl, in your fridge. Drain for a further half hour and spoon the whey into perfectly clean containers. Your mix needs to still be quite wet and loose. The gelatine from the cream will help it set further once it’s cooled. If you over drain, you’ll end up with a milk brick. Nobody wants a milk brick. That is no-one except Miss Muffet. She could have had the upper hand with that spider!
Your ricotta will last up to 2 weeks if everything that you’ve used is clean, clean, clean.
An edited version of this article appears in http://www.gourmandandgourmet.com.au
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