Cottage Cheese Recipe

Here is a simple recipe for making Cottage Cheese.

A couple of golden rules for making cheese:

1) the room should be warm, around 20 centigrade, I know, I was surprised at that when I first started making cheese – it’s at the maturing stage you want a cool environment.

2) Hygiene, the room, equipment or utensils should all be spotlessly clean or if possible sterilised using boiling water.

3) Because temperature is key to making cheese, you will need a thermometer.

Instead of using Rennet to set the milk, this recipe uses lemon juice, so it could be called Lemon Cheese I suppose, however, it works by using the citric acid of the Lemons to acidifying the milk.

The ingredients required are simply 1 litre of cows milk and the juice of 2 lemons (about 5.5 or 6 tablespoons).

The equipment needed, some form of double boiler (Bain Marie), a piece of cheesecloth or butter muslin about 16 inches or 40 cm square, a piece of string to use to hang the cheese and a thermometer.

Method:

warm the milk in the Bain Marie, until it reaches 38 Centigrade stirring so as not to allow for any solids to form on the bottom of the pan ( don’t forget to allow for the time lag between the water temperature and that of the milk).

Once at 38 C take off the heat and start to add the lemon juice, a tablespoonful or a drizzle at a time until the split between the curds and whey starts to show, then add about a tablespoon more juice, cover and let it stand for 10 minutes.

Within ten minutes or so, the liquid should have a cloudy appearance with small clots of white curd in them, line a colander with the cheesecloth or muslin and gently pour your mixture into the colander, if you wish to save the Whey, then place a bowl under the colander to capture the liquid. Leave this to drain for a few minutes, then tie up the corners of the cheesecloth securely and hang it somewhere where it can drip into a bowl or pan.

After about one hour the curd will be ready to eat, therefore you can remove from the cloth and you could just put it in an air tight container, stick it in the fridge and enjoy it over the next few days, it should last up to a week in the fridge.

Alternatively, you can put it in a mixing bowl, put a couple of tablespoonfuls of Crème Fraiche in the bowl (enough to make it spreadable), then the next bit is up to you.

1) you can add some pieces of smoked Salmon and chopped dill, mix it together and enjoy with Crisp bread and a Wine of your choice.

2) Or, you can mix with some chopped Garlic and Chives, or even Pineapple etc.,

3) You can even mix the Crème Fresh and cheese together, roll it out or spread it (dependant on how much Crème Fresh you have in the mix) then place it on a sheet of cling film or Greaseproof paper which has been covered in mixed herbs. Gently roll the cheese and herbs( making sure the paper or film does not get included), until you have a Roulade, lovely.

The options for this recipe are limited only by the imagination and palate of the person making the cheese.