Sunday, March 5, 2017

farmer's cheese

can i just tell you how in love with raw milk i am??
our sweet friend gives us one to two gallons of pure, raw, delicious Jersey milk a week and 
i. am. in. heaven.
last week, she gave us three gallons so of course i had to try fresh cheese.
i've tried ricotta before to resounding success and farmer's cheese is just as easy so we started there!
next, i'm trying mozzarella.

Farmer's Cheese
Makes about a pound.
From Nourished Kitchen
1 gallon milk, not ultrapasteurized, preferably raw
½ cup white vinegar
2 teaspoons very fine sea salt

Line a colander with a double layer of cheesecloth or a single layer of butter muslin.
Pour the milk into a large, heavy-bottomed kettle, and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Stir it frequently to keep the milk from scorching. When it comes to a boil, immediately reduce the heat to low, and stir in the vinegar. The milk should immediately separate into curds and whey. If it does not separate, add a bit more vinegar one tablespoon at a time until you see the milk solids coagulate into curds swimming within the thin greenish blue whey.
Pour the curds and whey into the lined colander. Rinse them gently with cool water, and sprinkle the curds with salt. Tie up the cheesecloth, and press it a bit with your hands to remove excess whey. Let the cheesecloth hang for 1 to 2 hours, then open it up and chop it coarsely. Store in the fridge for up to a week.

*You may set the lined colander over a bucket or crock to catch they whey rather than discarding it; however, keep in mind that it is not a cultured food, and if you are accustomed to using whey as a starter culture for fermented vegetables, it will not work as it doesn't contain live active bacteria. It can, however, be reserved for feeding pigs and chickens, or for soaking grains and flour. I totally made focaccia with the whey (and froze the rest) and ate it warm with the cheese. Heaven.

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