Friday, May 24, 2013

Fresh cheese

Ever made cheese?
I hadn't either, but since they stopped making dry curd cottage cheese for my favourite type of perogies , I took matters into my own hands and found a recipe to make my own. It also can be used in nalisniky, a Ukrainian thin pancake with fresh cheese, raisins , sugar and cinnamon. All it takes to make fresh cheese is a good stock pot, and patience.

All utensils should be cleaned very well before beginning.

1 quart (1l) whole milk
4 drops liquid rennet
½ teaspoon of salt, plus more to taste

Heat the milk very slowly in a medium-sized, non-reactive saucepan. Use the lowest heat possible and heat until the milk reaches 85ยบ F. Turn off heat and stir in rennet. Stir gently for 2 minutes.

Cover the saucepan with a clean tea towel draped over the top and put the lid on. Let stand at room temperature for 4 hours.

After 4 hours, the mixture will be very soft. Take a sharp knife and cut the mixture diagonally 5 or 6 times, then do the same in the opposite direction.
Sprinkle in the salt then set the pan over extremely low heat and cook, stirring gently, until the curds separate from the whey. It will take just a few minutes.
Do not overcook it at this point or your cottage cheese curds will be tough.

Line a strainer with cheesecloth and set it inside a large bowl. Pour the cheese into the cloth and stir it gently to drain off the whey.
Fold the ends of the cheesecloth over the cheese and chill the strainer (keeping the bowl underneath) in the refrigerator. Let drain for about 1 hour, stirring once or twice.

If you want creamy cottage cheese , you can add 5 tbsp heavy cream.

You can also double or triple the batch and freeze it for later.

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