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)
- 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)
- Pour milk into pan and clip thermometer in place, making sure not to touch the bottom with the thermometer
- Slowly bring up to 180F over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally (not continuously)
- Add lemon juice or citric acid solution and give a stir
- 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.
- Slowly pour into a strainer lined with muslin/tea towel over a deep bowl
- 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)
- Let drain for 1-2 hours
- 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.