Is there anything as delicately delicious as ricotta? Meaning 're-cooked' in Italian, this was how ricotta was traditionally made. After cheesemaking, re-cooking the whey coagulates the remaining milk solids so they can be skimmed from the surface. These fragile curds are then placed in a form or basket until they drain enough to retain their shape.
Care needs to be taken with today's supermarket offerings of poor quality ricotta frequently made with partially skimmed milk. The texture can be overly grainy and wet and other ingredients, such as gums and gelatin may be added. Although some of these may be substituted in baking, most spell disaster when trying to use it in a traditional recipe.
When freshly made, this creamy comfort cheese is a favourite of mine straight from the pot and into a bowl, still warm. I also like it in a baked cheesecake with the typical cream cheese and a little sour cream to add tang.
But in a simple ricotta tart with eggs and cream as the minimal treatment, it is a rich finale to a weekday meal.