I’ve been making cheese quite happily for a couple of months using the recipe I posted back in February here. All has been going relatively well, the first couple of times it was great but the next twice it came out more like cream cheese that cottage cheese and I thought it must be the additional Jersey milk which is obviously creamier than ordinary whole milk so I tried it missing out the Jersey Milk.
However, at the same time as missing out the Jersey milk, I used Waitrose creme fraiche rather than Tesco. Complete disaster. The curds failed to set and I was left with a pan that looked more like a grainy thin custard than anything like the cottage cheese I’d been making before.
However, using the whole lot to make Ricotta seemed to work but I ended up with 750grams of Ricotta cheese which, whilst its perfectly pleasant, isn’t edible in the same way as cottage cheese so I had to look up some recipes to use up ricotta and I got these:
Gluten Free Spinach & Ricotta Lasagne
This is loosely based upon a Jamie Oliver recipe and made a very acceptable supper for two.
- 200g spinach;
- 125g ricotta;
- Mozzerella (optional);
- 1 tsp grated parmesan (or cheddar would do just as well);
- Olive Oil;
- ground nutmeg;
- small bay leaf;
- a small onion;
- 400g frozen tomatoes (or fresh or a tin);
- Leaves of a small bunch of basil;
- grated zest of 1/2 lemon;
- 6 sheets of gluten free lasagne
Wash the spinach and put to cook with a little olive oil until it has cooked down. Set it aside in a bowl and, using the same pan, gently cook the onion in olive oil until it is soft then add some of the basil, bay leaf, tomatoes, and lemon zest and cook it gently until it has thickened (about 15 minutes).
In a separate pan, pre-cook the lasagne sheets according to the instructions on the packet.
Chop up the spinach and stir in the egg, ricotta and parmesan.
Layer the spinach & ricotta, tomatoes and lasagne so that you have two layers of lasagne and three layers of tomato and spinach mix. Then put the mozzarella on the top.
Place in the oven and cook at 180C for about 30 minutes or until golden and cooked through. When its cooked take it out leave to cool slightly and then scatter over the remaining basil leaves.
A second Ricotta based recipe we made at the same time but was eaten the next day:
Gluten Free Raspberry Cheesecake
This made a small cheesecake of about six servings. I could easily be scaled up if necessary.
- 125g Gluten Free Digestive biscuits crushed;
- 50g melted butter;
- 300g Ricotta Cheese;
- 150ml double cream;
- 50g icing sugar;
- 1/2 to 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Raspberries (as many as you like)
Mix the crushed biscuits and melted butter and put into a 7 inch sandwich tin (we line it with tinfoil to make it easy to remove the cheesecake when its set) and put it in the fridge for about an hour to set.
Put the Ricotta, vanilla and icing sugar in a bowl and mix with an electric whisk until they are all mixed and the mixture is smooth. Add the double cream and carry on mixing until it all well mixed together.
Spoon the mixture onto the chilled biscuit base and smooth it down. Put it in the fridge to set for about four hours.
When you think its ready take it out of the fridge and give it about 30 minutes to come up to room temperature. Whilst this is happening, take about 100g of the raspberries and mix it with about 15g of icing sugar then push the whole through a sieve to make a puree. Put raspberries onto the cheesecake and pour over the puree. (Alternatively, if like us you’re not going to eat all the cheesecake in one sitting, serve the cheesecake and the put the raspberries and puree over the served cheesecake).