The great thing about writing a blog and reading other blogs is that inspiration comes from all around you. Not so long ago I got into a dialogue with ChgoJohn over at From The Bartolini Kitchens about cheese. He makes all sorts of cheeses and has posted a fantastic recipe for ricotta. It reminded me that I hadn´t done this for quite some time, although my version doesn´t use cream. Unfortunately we just can´t get anything other than UHT whipping cream or a chemical mix which masquerades as single or cooking cream here. A shame, but that´s how it is.
A freezer clear out to make room for all my lovely beans that are growing, rewarded me with a packet of filo pastry. Time to get making something tasty.
Here´s how I made my curd cheese.
Bring one litre of milk (I used semi skimmed) almost to the boil (when little bubbles start to appear round the edges).
Turn off the heat then add citric acid, lemon juice or white wine vinegar (about 2 – 3 tablespoons but add it gradually) whilst stirring with a wooden spoon. Once curds start to form, put a lid on the pot and leave to stand for about 10 minutes.
Drain and leave for a few hours or overnight.
Stir in salt to taste and you´re done! Don´t forget to save that whey for making soda bread.
To make the tart I lined a loose bottomed tart tin with four sheets of filo which I brushed with olive oil (but you could also use butter).
I put in a layer of chopped, wilted chard (with all the water squeezed out) which I had mixed with two beaten eggs, 3 tablespoons of grated parmesan and seasoning. You could substitute the chard with spinach or beets.
Then I added a layer of curd cheese and then a layer of halved roasted tomatoes. You could also use thinly sliced raw tomatoes. Finally I folded over the filo sheets and added two more to the top, brushed the whole thing with a little more oil and baked for 30 minutes at 180ºC.
It was delicious warm, but just as tasty (although not quite so crunchy) cold the next day.