Cheesemaking Made Simple

Basic Fresh Cheese Recipe

This is the simplest method of converting milk into cheese based on the recipe used since man first learnt to domesticate and milk his animals.  It takes barely more than an hour and requires nothing more complicated than a thermometer. It is moist, spreadable, with a fine mousse-like texture with a refreshing lemony tang.

Equipment & Ingredients [Yields approximately 200 gm]

1           saucepan
1           very fine sieve or colander lined with cheese-cloth
1           thermometer
1           small cheese mould [or plastic pot with holes sides and bottom]
1           litre fresh whole milk [can use cow or goat]
2          Juice of lemons [1/4 cup or 6 tablespoons
Salt & Pepper [optional]

1           Warm milk over medium heat to 185° F [85 ° C] in a saucepan with solid bottom to avoid scorching the milk. It is ready when the milk starts rising up the sides of the pan.

2          Remove from heat, stir in the lemon juice slowly with whisk and allow to stand for 20 - minutes when the milk will have separated into small, uneven lumps of curd and greenish-white whey.  If it hasn’t add another couple of tablespoons of lemon juice.

3          Pour gently into a sieve over a bowl, sprinkled with salt and leave to stand for another 20 minutes or so when the flow of whey has stopped.  Alternatively pour into a colander lined with cheesecloth, tie the four corners into a knot then hang the bag of curds to drain like a jelly bag for 20 – 60 minutes or until the whey stops dripping.

4          Tip the fresh curd into a small container, ramekin or best a small pot with holes punched in the bottom then lightly press to remove excess whey.  After 10 minutes [or leave for a few hours] tip the curd out onto a dish.

5          Sprinkle with a little more salt and maybe fresh herbs or cracked pepper and serve like fromage frais or light cream cheese.  Best eaten within 24 hours but will keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

NB         USING RENNET For 2 litres [4 pints]
Reduce lemon to juice of½ lemon
Mix ½ teaspoon rennet to ½ cup of water then add after the lemon and stir