Tuesday, December 3, 2013

How to Make Farmer's Cheese

As our does' milk production has been dropping, we haven't been accumulating as much extra milk as of late and especially since I have been freezing milk to be used in soap making during the off season (which will begin towards the beginning of January.) Last week, though, there was an extra gallon in the fridge so I made one of our favorite cheeses . . . Farmer's Cheese! It is a soft, spreadable cheese that is delicious on crackers and bread, too.

It is simple to make, and while the process itself is long, it has very little hands on time making it my 'go-to' cheese when I don't have a lot of time! I believe this cheese can be made using store-bought milk (as long as it isn't ultra-pasteurized) so I thought I would share the recipe and a little tutorial here in case any of you might like to give it a try.

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To begin, pour one gallon of milk into a large stainless steel pot (and a heavy-bottomed pot would be preferred as that helps to prevent scorching.)


Slowly heat the milk to 195 degrees (as in, taking about one to two hours to reach temp.)

Once the milk has reached 195 degrees, remove from heat and add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar.


Stir for two minutes; you'll notice curd separation beginning here.

Let sit until cool; the curd will settle to the bottom leaving a yellow/green colored whey on top.


In the process of cooling and forming curd . . . it's starting to get a more yellow tinge on top!

Once it is cool, strain through a double layer of cheesecloth. (I line a stainless steel colander with the cheesecloth and then put that over a large bowl - the whey drains through and then is given to our chickens.)

Curd draining . . . it's just about ready here!

Meanwhile, finely chop onion and garlic (the amount depends upon your own tastes . . . depending on how much cheese curd I end up with, I'll maybe do between two to three tsp. of garlic, and two to three Tbsp. of onion. I don't measure, though, so these are approximates. :)


Saute the onion and garlic in three Tbsp. of butter until transparent (usually a couple of minutes.)
Set aside.


Once the draining curd is to the desired consistency, pour it into a large bowl.

Add the butter, onion and garlic mixture; add salt to taste; and also add whatever dried herbs you would like. (So far, I've only used dried basil and usually around 3-4 tsp.)



Stir well and then spoon into a glass dish and smooth the cheese out.


Chill in the refrigerator, and then enjoy!

9 comments:

  1. Looks so tasty! I love farmer's cheese, but have never made my own. I will have to give it a try.

    May you have a blessed day!

    -Sarah

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  2. Mmmm, That sounds so delicious ... I think this would be a good snowy wintertime project for me.
    Blessings,
    Mrs.B

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  3. That sounds a little like a favourite French soft cheese called Boursin. It is made with or without herbs/garlic/etc. Delicious!

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  4. This looks so yummy! Thanks for sharing Sarah! <3

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  5. Thank you for your comments everyone!

    Sarah and Mrs. B., if you do try it, I hope you enjoy it!

    You're welcome for sharing, Tabitha!

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  6. We used to make this but haven't in awhile. Can't wait to try your recipe...maybe even tomorrow??

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  7. Hope you enjoy it, Nikki!

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  8. :-D I had to smile as I saw this post. Look at this one!

    http://rebeccaofsunnyhillfarm.blogspot.com/2012/07/how-to-make-simple-homemade-goat-cheese.html

    I've not used apple cider vinegar. Does it not make it taste too strong?

    If I want to do a cream cheese, I'll use lemon juice instead. It may take a little longer to separate, but it isn't strong, and is much creamier!

    I cannot have regular dairy (or gluten or soy for that matter!) but praise God, I could have goat milk and cheese!

    My sister made me an AMAZING cheesecake with some cream cheese that I made. That was the best cheesecake ever! (And the first one I have had in three years! :-D)

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  9. That's funny that we did a post about the same thing, Rebecca! I've only ever used apple cider vinegar for my Farmer's Cheese so I am not sure how it would compare. We love the taste, though! I wouldn't describe it as strong at all.

    I haven't made cream cheese before . . . do you use the same amount of lemon juice in place of the vinegar? I would like to try it some time!

    That is a blessing that even though you cannot have regular dairy, you are able to tolerate goat milk and cheese! And I would imagine that cheesecake tasted especially good after not enjoying one for so long. :)

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Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)