Yield: about 1 1/2 cups of soft, spreadable, delicious cheese
This recipe is from Ricki Carroll’s Home Cheese Making. I discovered it as part of the Urban Farm Handbook Challenge. It tastes so fresh and delicious – it has totally ruined me for store-bought cheese. Serve it on sliced baguette.
Note – the only special equipment required are cheese cloth and a candy/oil thermometer, both of which are available at kitchen supply stores and some grocery stores. Don’t let that be the reason you pass this up!
- 1/2 gallon whole milk (2% will work, but produce a drier cheese)
- Juice of 2-3 lemons, approximately 1/4 to 1/2 cup
- Approx. 1/2 tsp. salt
- Finely chopped herbs such as chives, oregano, thyme, cilantro, basil
- In a large pot over medium-low heat, gently bring the milk to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to stir frequently to keep from scalding the milk.
- Turn off the heat. Add about 1/4 cup of lemon juice and stir well. Let sit for 15 minutes.
- After waiting, the milk should be curdled, and the whey (the liquid) should be clear. If it’s still milky/cloudy, add more lemon juice, stir gently, and give it a few more minutes. Depending on the acidity of the lemon juice, it may take quite a bit more. It won’t hurt to use more, but if you use more than necessary, the final result will have a stronger lemon flavor.
- Line a colander with butter muslin and gently pour the curds into it. Allow it to drain for a few minutes, and then tie the corners of the muslin together to form a bag.
- Hang the curds to drain. I use a twist-tie and rubber-band combination to hook the bag over the kitchen faucet.
- Allow to drain for 1-2 hours, until it stops dripping and has firmed up a bit. (If you’re in a hurry you can speed the process somewhat by squeezing the bag gently from the top down).
- Remove the cheese and mix in the salt and herbs to taste.
- Store the cheese in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
Source: see above!