Cheese is mysterious. You buy it at the store. Maybe you’ve even seen some sort of demonstration where cheese was made. But you can’t do that at home, right? Who makes their own cheese?
Well there’s no real reason not to make your own cheese. Especially when it comes to Farmer’s Cheese, which is amazingly easy. There’s no curing, no rennet, nothing but milk and something acidic. You don’t even need special milk – though milk with more fat seems to yield more cheese.
- 5 cups Milk higher fat will give you higher yield
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice or Vinegar
- 1 dash Salt optional
- Fill a medium saucepan with the milk, and place on the stove at medium-low heat. You want to heat the milk until its frothy and just at the edge of boiling.
- Add the lemon juice or vinegar. It should take you about 2 tablespoons, or the juice of two lemons (fresh squeezed lemon juice makes the final cheese taste wonderfully lemony), but the exact amount is not as important as getting the correct effect. Keep adding your acidic liquid until the curds separate from the whey.
- Separate the curds from the whey. You can use cheese cloth or paper towels over a collander (and a bowl underneath to catch the whey), or a very fine sieve.
- Allow the curds to drain. If you're using cheese cloth, gather all the curds into the cloth, and hang it over the sink. It will drip drain. If you're using the sieve method, shake it until the curds hang together in one solid mass. Add a small amount of salt while draining the cheese, and make sure to mix it in well.
- Eat your cheese immediately, or store it in the fridge for later (or another recipe!).
You'll want to save the whey. Whey is not only good for you, but a great substitute for milk or water in baking.
Also, the milk to cheese yield ratio is a bit low. I usually use 2% milk (because that's what I have in the house), and am lucky to get a cup out of 5 cups of milk. That's a lot of milk for very little cheese! Put the whey to good use.