Homemade Farmer’s Cheese

homemade farmers cheese
Homemade Farmer's Cheese 1


Homemade bread? Sure! Jam? Absolutely. But making cheese? Most people have a conception that making cheese from scratch is a laborious task that is complicated and drawn-out. And, while I cannot tell you making an aged cheddar or Parmesan debunks these conceptions – farmer’s cheese does. 

Farmer’s cheese, very similar to Ricotta, is a mild, soft cheese made from milk. It has a smooth texture and buttery, creamy taste and is extremely versatile to use. I grew up tasting it in Slovakia (and from my mom’s cooking), where it’s used in sweets, to add as a filling in cakes or other desserts, or even just tossed with pasta and salt and pepper for a quick weeknight meal. It’s even delicious to mix with your favorite herbs and pop it on a cheese plate for a quick appetizer. Either way, you will definitely impress your guests when you tell them you’ve made the cheese in your dish all on your own – it’ll just be our secret that it’s as easy as pie to make.

Farmer’s Cheese
Yields 8 ounces
 
Materials:
Cheesecloth
Butcher’s twine
Thermometer
 
Ingredients:
2 quarts whole milk
3 1/2 Tbsp. white vinegar
3 Tbsp. sour cream
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

 

 
Homemade Farmer's Cheese 2

1. Heat the milk on medium to 185 degrees F. While heating, add salt. Continue to whisk constantly to prevent the bottom from scorching. 


Homemade Farmer's Cheese 3
 2. Once the milk reaches 185 degrees F., switch to a wooden spoon or silicone spatula and stir in the sour cream, then vinegar, and turn off the heat. Off the heat, add the lemon juice and sir in a circular motion until curds begin to form. Once curds form, let the mixture rest for 10 minutes (no touching!)
 
Homemade Farmer's Cheese 4
3. After 10 minutes of rest, pour the mixture into a medium-large strainer that is lined two pieces of cheesecloth to catch the curds (have larger bowl placed under the strainer to catch the whey liquid that will drain off). Let the cheese rest here for another 10 minutes so the whey can drain.
 
 
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(This liquid is the whey – it can be tossed, or is great to use in making bread!) 

 

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4. Gather up the cheesecloth and twist to form a tight bundle, squeeze it to get any remaining whey out. Secure the bundle by tying with a piece of butcher’s twine. Tie the cheese bundle to a wooden spoon that is placed over a large, deep pot or bowl (make sure the cheese bundle does not touch the bottom of the bowl). Place in the refrigerator and let the cheese hang for at least 4 hours (mine hung overnight).
 
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After hanging, remove the butcher’s twine and cheesecloth and transfer the cheese to a container. The cheese is good to use for up to 5 days.
 
And voila! That’s it – you made cheese! Just four simple steps and a little bit of waiting, easy right?!

xo, d

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