Sunday, May 15, 2005

Home made fresh cheese

We just found out how to make fresh cheese at home. It only takes a few minutes and it's soooo good!

All you need is:
  • 1 liter of pasteurized milk (a little more than 4 cups). You want the milk to be a little fat.
  • 5 to 10 centiliters of white wine vinegar or lemon juice (about 2 oz.)
  • 1 table spoon of rock salt
  • Optionally: finely chopped fresh herbs (e.g. chives) and/or garlic (about 1 table spoon total).

The process is amazingly easy:

  1. Slowly bring the milk to a boil, wait a few seconds then turn off the heat.
  2. Add the vinegar (or lemon) and salt and stir well. You'll see the milk turning almost instantly into a white, grainy paste (the curd) and a pale yellow, limpid liquid (the whey).
  3. Add the fresh herbs and garlic and stir some more.
  4. Let the coagulation be complete (let stand for 5 minutes).
  5. Filter the curd through a colander lined with a cheese cloth. Let it drain for about 5 minutes. You can keep the whey if you have a use for it... which we don't at the moment although we're sure there's one ;-)
  6. Press the curd in the cheese cloth and shape it into a ball.
  7. It's ready to eat! Or you can keep it a few more days... As you wish.

The good thing is, since it's pasteurized milk AND you boil it AND you eat the cheese fresh, it's like eating cereals: no risk of nasty bacterias :-)

This recipe works with all kinds of milks (for example goat milk) and all kinds of herbs.

There are more info and pictures here.


Tammy said...

I love the idea of making cheese from scratch! I am going to try this soon!

I liked the link to the New England Cheesemaker. They have good photos and explainations. I also found this link for ricotta making on the KQED site. Check it out!

Instead of using lemon juice or vinegar, they used buttermilk, which is slightly acidic, to start the process.

Anonymous said...

why does it taste bland? It's good but is there any suggestions to fixing the blandness?

Estelle said...

Maybe some more salt? Herbs and garlic? Goat milk?... Good bread to spread it on?
I agree that it's not very strong...

Anonymous said...

In Poland we eat this quite often for breakfast, but don't add the herbs until its finished.

We add green onions, radishes, a Tablespoon of yoghurt, salt, pepper and sugar (sometimes even a shredded tomato and/or clove of garlic), or slice it and serve it plain with a spoonful of fruit preserves on top.

Estelle said...

Sounds delicious. I'll give it a try!

French Cheese Lover said...

I would like to insert my "five cents" to the topic! :) There is a wonderful article I recently read about French cheeses. I just loved it, check for yourself!

Teresa said...

Hi Estelle! I live in Sunnyvale also and I'm about to try cheesemaking for the first time and I'm wondering where you get your milk? The cheesemaking kit I got says it can't be ultra-pasturized but that that type of milk can be hard to come by. Thanks!

Estelle said...

Hi Teresa,
You can find raw milk at Whole Foods. I know in France it's hard to find non ultra-pasteurized milk but here in the US most of the milk you'll find is simply pasteurized. This should work.
Have fun!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. I'm definitely going to try it. We make the mistake of buying too much milk without checking the expiry date and its about to turn. Would it be okay to use it? Is that what you mean by the milk should be a bit "fat"?

Estelle said...

Hi there,

You can use the milk up to the date it expires.

By "fat" I meant whole milk rather than skimmed...

Hope this helps. Happy cheese making!

Sangs said...

Hi Estelle,

Your blog is very enjoyable. You are doing a great job. I stumbled upon it when I was searching for a pear cake recipe. Your recipe was so easy to make and delicious to taste; I make it often. In India, we don't get the variety of pears that you mention, but it tastes good nonetheless.

About the cheese making recipe that you have written, it is made commonly in India in many households, but we call it Paneer or Chenna.In English, it is called Cottage Cheese. There are a number of tasty Indian dishes that you can cook up with Paneer but you would be unfamiliar with the spices. There are also many sweets that are made with Paneer, the most famous being the Rasgulla. You can find a recipe for it at

Keep writing and putting up pictures.


Anonymous said...

Whey can be "re-boiled" to make fresh ricotta cheese!