Cheese Making

Wine Infused Cheese

Here is a recipe for wine infused cheese from the New England Cheesemaking website. My Canadian friend made it with homemade Black Cherry and Black Raspberry wine and received a lot of compliments.

  Wine Infused Cheese

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Lancashire Cheese

This is a cheese that is steeped in history; because a lot of the farmers in Lancashire were smallholders, when making cheese, they didn't have enough curd to make a full batch, therefore, they often lumped together the produce from two or three milking sessions. Here is a recipe that emulates the process the farmers of Lancashire went through; however, if you are unsure about using active ingredients, you can always use a starter and just add some single cream to give texture.

Ingredients:

1 gallon of full fat milk (5 litres)
½ pint of active buttermilk
4 oz. plain active yogurt
1 oz. Salt (non ionised)
15 drops of Rennet diluted in half a cup of boiled/cooled water,
(please note: you should check the cartons of Buttermilk and Yogurt to ensure they are active or live culture)

Method:

In a large pan, slowly bring the milk up to 88°F or 31°C. Shake up the buttermilk in the carton and add it to the milk and stir until fully mixed in, (if using starter and cream now is the time to add these). Add the yogurt to the pan and whisk to ensure it is fully diluted into the milk.

Leave the milk to rest at temperature for 30 minutes, then add the rennet and stir well. Cover and leave for 60 minutes at 88°F or 31°C or until a clean cut can be achieved.

Once a clean cut is achieved cut the curds into 1/4 inch cubes. Using a slotted spoon, gently fold the curds upwards so that you can break up any large squares of curd. Rest the curds for a further 30 minutes at temperature.

After 30 minutes the curds should have sunk to the bottom of the pan. Stir for a further 30 minutes just to ensure the curds don't matt together.

Line a Colander with a cheese cloth then ladle or spoon the curds into the colander to drain. Tie the corners of the cloth and hang curds to drain for a further 30 minutes. Once drained, place the curds (still in the cloth) into a 4" or 10 Cm (Tomme) mould and press at 10 lbs for 4 hours.

Remove from the press, unwrap the curds and break them up into ½ inch sized pieces, add the salt and gently mix together.

Put the curd back into the mould after lining it with the cheese cloth and press at 15 pounds of pressure for 24 hours, after which time the cheese should be able to support itself. Place the cheese on a cheese mat and turn twice a day for at least a week, then once every couple of days there after.

I'm a natural rind cheese maker, so let the cheese form its own rind over the next 3 months, just dressing the cheese occasionally with salty water to remove any mould, it should be ready to eat within 3 to 6 months.

Garlic & Onion Cotswold Cheese

Here's a recipe from the New England Cheesemaking website that my Canadian friends have found to be very popular, for a Cotswold Cheese with garlic scape (the long curving extensions that become the garlic plant's flowering parts) and rehydrated dried onion:

  Garlic & Onion Cotswold Cheese

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Making Butter

This is a very easy process, requiring little effort, but the results are worth it – I suppose you could view the process as a bit of a workout for your upper arms, if you are so inclined.

All that is required is a 300g (10.1 fl oz) tub of double or heavy cream. You can increase the quantity of cream if you so wish, it's up to you and is dependant on the size of your family or how much butter you go through in a week.

Leave the cream in a bowl for a couple of hours to reach room temp about 72°F (22°C) (Fig 1), this will start the cream acidifying.

Pour the cream into a plastic or sealable jar that has enough room to allow for shaking the liquid up and down. Shake vigorously for about 10 minutes or until the butter has formed.

It will go like whipped cream at first (Fig 2), keep shaking and you will feel it break back into buttermilk and solid butter (Fig 3). The remaining liquid is Buttermilk which can be poured off and saved for baking.

Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3

 

Place the butter in a bowl under a gently running cold water tap (Fig 4). Using the back of a metal spoon press the butter in the water stream until all of the buttermilk is expressed and the water runs clear (Fig 5) (using your hands is messy, but quicker).

You can add salt to taste if you wish; you can now put the butter in a small dish and refrigerate (Fig 6). The butter will last about a week, but you will most probably have used it by then.

Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6

 

Whilst you may not want to salt your butter, you could add herbs or garlic, you can form the butter into a sausage shape, wrap it in cling film and put it in the freezer; you can then slice sections or disks off as you want it; useful for steaks etc. Imaging the kudos of producing a well cooked steak, with a disk of Parsley butter melting on top of it, and saying "of course I made the butter too". Enjoy.

 

Soft Goats Cheese

Goats cheese is not to everyone's taste, however, I think that's more about the age it is eaten rather than the cheese – this cheese can turn quite ripe or earthy fairly quickly, so for those who don't like it strong – eat it young. Here's the recipe I use:

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Another Cheshire Cheese recipe

This is an alternative Cheshire Cheese recipe from Donna McMurtry in Alberta, Canada. It uses Crème Fraiche as a starter; I have not yet tried it, but thought it was worth inclusion on the website.

Read more: Another Cheshire Cheese recipe