Being frugal does not come naturally to me. I am a poster child for conveniece and would much rather “just pay for it” than calculate how much I can save if i “just do it”. Unfortunately, of late, being frugal is more a necessity than an luxury and I have been doing freelance anything for some extra cash on the side.
One of those freelance anythings has been baking. Red velvet cupcakes to be exact and if you follow that link to my recipe you will see that a key ingredient is buttermilk. For those who don’t know, buttermilk is what is left over when you turn cream into butter and lends a tang and a creaminess to the red velvets.
Suddenly buttermilk has turned into a regular ingredient found in my fridge so when I was given a recipe for ricotta made with it I had to give it a try (I am all for giving things at least one try). I make ricotta regularly and it is the one frugal move I make. Every time I reach to pick it up off the fridge shelf in the supermarket I look at the price and swop it for a bottle of milk instead to make my own.
This recipe is so simple (the friend who gave it to me has yet to let me know who to credit) with only 2 ingredients and some simple kitchen tools. If you don’t yet have a candy thermometer I recommend you invest in one (Only R60 from yuppie chef) and you can use a regular kitchen towel if you cannot find muslin.
2 litres full cream milk
2.5 cups butter milk
Slowly bring both milks up to 82C on medium heat. In the this time it will begin to separate and curdle. Once it reaches 82C, remove from heat and slowly strain the whey and curds over the cheese cloth. You can use a slotted spoon to get all the curds out as well.
Once everything is separated, tie the cheese cloth into a ball and hang from an elevated area for a minimum of half an hour. The longer you hang, the dryer the curds.
I had mine with some fresh tomatoes, a sprinkling of za’atar and a splash of olive oil