Sweet treat so cheesy

Show off a home­made ri­cotta-mak­ing tech­nique

Central and North Burnett Times - - EASY EATING - BY Lu­cio Gal­letto and David Dale

THIS was served to us in the ven­er­a­ble restau­rant Los Cara­coles (The Snails) in Barcelona – home-made cheese with crunchy wal­nuts scat­tered round the plate, and a glass half-filled with honey for pour­ing.

We won­dered how hard it would be to make cheese at home and we dis­cov­ered that it’s not hard at all, as long as you have pa­tience.

You need to let the liq­uid drip out of the curds for at least 48 hours to en­sure the tex­ture is firm enough to mould and slice.

Mel i mato (home­made ri­cotta with wal­nuts and honey)

Serves 4

Many cheeses are fer­mented with ren­net – an en­zyme from the stom­ach of a cow. Ours is fer­mented with le­mon and but­ter­milk, mak­ing it suitable for vege­tar­i­ans.

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS: 2 litres milk, or­ganic and un­ho­mogenised if pos­si­ble , 500 ml (2 cups) but­ter­milk, 2 tea­spoons le­mon juice, top-qual­ity honey, for driz­zling , 50g wal­nuts, roasted

METHOD: In a large saucepan, com­bine the milk, but­ter­milk and the le­mon juice.

Gen­tly warm the milk over low heat, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally to pre­vent scorch­ing. Leave to sim­mer for 30 min­utes, but do not let the milk boil.

The mix­ture will be­gin to sep­a­rate and form small curds and a wa­tery whey.

Now let the milk sit undis­turbed at room tem­per­a­ture un­til cool.

Line a strainer with muslin (cheese­cloth) and set it over a bowl.

Once the milk is cool, care­fully pour or spoon the curds through the cheese­cloth, al­low­ing the whey to drain away.

Leav­ing it sit­ting over the bowl, re­frig­er­ate the ri­cotta overnight for a firmer tex­ture.

The fi­nal tex­ture of the cheese will de­pend on the drain­ing time, with longer drain­ing giv­ing a firmer, drier re­sult.

Store the ri­cotta in the fridge and use within 1 week. Be­fore serv­ing, driz­zle with honey and scat­ter roasted wal­nuts on top.

PHOTO: BREE HUTCHINS

◗ Im­press friends by mak­ing your own ri­cotta for this tasty dessert.

Image and recipe from Coast­line by Lu­cio Gal­letto and David Dale (Mur­doch Books, RRP $59.99, avail­able now).

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