YOU CAN use fresh milk, or supermarket-bought milk for this recipe. Check that the vinegar has not been watered down – some of the cheaper brands are not all vinegar. method Prepare a dampened dishcloth-lined colander before you begin – boil the cloth to sterilise it. Heat the milk to 80°C, then take the pot off the heat and add the vinegar slowly. Stir very, very slowly, so the stirrer is hardly moving. If you stir too fast you will make a slush instead of a separation of curds and whey. Once you have a solid curd and lemon juice-looking whey, pour it all through
the lined strainer and leave it to go cold. method Beat the butter, lemon zest and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, then the eggs one at a time, beating well in between. Add the flour slowly and carefully fold in. Add the ricotta and milk and fold in again. The mixture will be a bit grainy and thick, too thick to pour but able to be spread. Line a cake tin with baking paper and smooth some of the mixture over the bottom. Cut the plums into wedges and place randomly on the raw cake mixture, then sprinkle the brown sugar over the top. Dob the rest of the mixture over the plums. It doesn’t matter if it is not fully covering the fruit. Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar over the top. Bake at 175°C for 40 minutes. Let the cake cool in the dish, then cut into squares when cold.