Chandlers Roque (Stilton) recipe

This is how I make my Stilton style cheese, a lovely soft, crumbly blue cheese. At three months it's not too strong; however it gathers strength as time progresses.

Ingredients:

10 Litres of cows' milk (I use pasteurised).
10.6 fl oz/ 300 ml of single cream (I have also been known to use double or thick cream).
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of Penicillium Roqueforti.
1/2 teaspoon of Mesophillic starter.
25 to 30 drops of Rennet diluted in boiled – cooled water; use the prescribed amount per litre or gallon.
1 to 1.5 tablespoons of Cheese salt (non-ionised salt).

Method:

Mix the milk and cream thoroughly and gently warm the milk to 86°F or 30°C, stirring to make sure it does not stick to the bottom. Add the starter and the Penicillium Roqueforti and rest at temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Add the diluted Rennet and stir for 1 minute or so, if the cream starts to rise to the top you can stir the top for a little longer to make sure it is integrated fully into the milk. Allow to set until a clean cut can be achieved (about 1 hour) (Fig 1).

Cut the curd into 15mm cubes (1/2 inch), stir and leave to stand for about 1/2 to 3/4 hour in the pan (longer if you wish).

Line a colander with a cheese cloth, transfer the curd into this, tie the corners together and hang for 1 hour or until the curd stops draining (Fig 2).

Next place the curd, still in the cloth, into a mould large enough to take the curd (2 Lbs) and press at 15 pound of weight for about 4 hours.

Remove from the mould, put the curd into a bowl, break up into 1/2 inch pieces and gently mix in the salt to cover the curd, return to the mould and gently press, increasing to 20 Lbs over two hours, then leave for 8 hours, turning the cheese after 2 hours returning to the mould to continue pressing.

Remove from the mould and stand on a board to continue maturing, turning every day for a week (Fig 3). After about 4 days, use a sterilised ice pick or thermometer probe to pierce holes around the sides and top/bottom of the cheese; please take care not to stab yourself when doing this (Fig 4). Figure 4 is a picture of a previous Roque cheese

Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4

Place the cheese to mature at around 55°F or 10°C to 12°C to continue maturing (Fig 5).

The recipes will say scrape off the mould that forms. I rub with salt and rinse every two weeks or so, then wrap and leave to stand. I often pierce the cheese again before wrapping (Fig 6). Wait 3 to 4 months and your cheese will be ready (Fig 7).

Two mixes of Chandlers Roque one week apart (Fig 8).

Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 8

 

Three Ages of Roque...