Friday, July 13, 2012

Homemade Goat Cheese

As soon as we got beets in our CSA box last week, I knew I needed to make goat cheese to go with them. It's extremely easy and yields a lusciously creamy dish of heaven. This is a quick method-- no rennet or cultures required. You likely have all the equipment you need right in your kitchen and goat milk is pretty easy to find in most grocery stores.

It will stay soft and spreadable for a couple of days. If you don't plan to use in the first day or so, you may wish to form in a mold for presentation. If you don't have a mold, you can line a small bowl with cheese cloth to form.

Goat Cheese (Chevre)
  • 1 qt. Goat milk
  • 1/4 c Fresh lemon juice (you could substitute 1/2 tsp. citric acid mixed with 1/4 c water)
  • Cheese salt (any salt will do, as long is it's not iodized and doesn't contain anti-caking agents)
  • Fresh herbs (optional- I used lemon zest and chives)
Equipment needed:
  • 2 -quart sauce pan (non-reactive)
  • Candy thermometer (or a probe thermometer with clip)
  • Slotted spoon for stirring
  • Butter muslin or a clean cotton tea towel (my preference)
  • Large mesh strainer
  • Deep bowl for draining
  • Wooden spoon for draining
  • Cheese mold (optional- in place of the final draining)
  1. Pour milk into pan and clip thermometer in place, making sure not to touch the bottom with the thermometer
  2. Slowly bring up to 180F over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally (not continuously)
  3. Add lemon juice or citric acid solution and give a stir
  4. Wait for very small curds to form, 1-5 minutes. It will look more like broken milk rather than large clumps (which is why you need very fine cloth to strain). If you put a spoon in and see little dots of milk, rather than smooth liquid, it's ready.
  5. Slowly pour into a strainer lined with muslin/tea towel over a deep bowl
  6. Once the water has strained for the most part, pour the whey from the bowl, pull up corners of cloth and tie onto a wooden spoon over the large bowl again to drain (If using a full-size tea towel, use a rubber band or large clip to fasten to spoon)
  7. Let drain for 1-2 hours
  8. Stir in salt and any herbs (Tip: kitchen scissors make cutting thin herbs like chives a breeze- no cutting board required). Mold, if desired, and refrigerate.


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