Maltese little gems. The cheeses of all cheeses (in my opinion). Once the fresh gbejniet are ready you can serve them as is, add pepper to them, or use the cheese to make ricotta pie (torta tal-irkotta), or place into widow's soup (soupa tal-armla). Ricotta can be made from the left over whey. It won't be much ricotta but it is enjoyable making it.
- 4.5 litres milk. Try and get unhomogenised and as creamy as possible (I used jersey cow milk)
- 3 tsp Rennet powder
- 50 ml water
- 15 Cheese baskets (qwieleb)
- Large pot to warm milk
- Tray or dish to store cheese in baskets (a dripping tray is ideal)
- Cloth to strain the ricotta from the whey and a strainer
- Place milk in large pot on a stove and gently warm.
- Use a thermometer to check when the temperature of the milk reaches 38 degrees celsius.
- Immediately remove off heat.
- In a small cup place rennet powder and about 50 ml water. Mix quickly and gently stir into milk.
- Leave in kitchen on a table for 3 hours.
- After 1.5 hours gently lacerate the coagulating milk in vertical lines and leave for a further 1.5 hours. This helps the separation of the curds and whey.
- Once the 3 hours has completed get 1 basket and scoop up the curds to fill the basket. Place in tray.
- Keep doing this until all baskets have been filled and placed in the tray.
- If you do not have a dripping tray gently tip the tray to remove any of the whey (drip back into the pot) before placing in the fridge.
- Sprinkle salt on top of the curds and place in the fridge. Leave overnight.
- You can now make ricotta from the remaining whey. Boil the whey.
- Leave to cool slightly (about 15 minutes). Place a cloth over a strainer and pour the whey and ricotta mixture over the cloth. You will be left with the ricotta.
- The following morning turn the cheese over and sprinkle with salt again. Keep in the fridge for another 12 hours.
- Your fresh gbejniet should then be ready.