I love cheese! All kinds of cheese. Just the thought of cheese makes me happy. So it is a good thing I live in an area that has A LOT of dairy farmers and cheese factories. One of the reasons we here in Ohio have an abundance of cheese is because we have so many Amish who must do something with the raw milk they produce. (Ohio law does not allow them to sell it) But they can sell it to cheese factories and that makes me happy. You know what would make me even happier? If there was an easy way to make my own cheese. An Amish friend gave me a great recipe from the cookbook "Healthy Choices" by Marvin and Miriam Wengerd. Funny thing..... I already had that cookbook but had never really looked through it. (the title might have something to do with that) So now I have a way to make my own cheese using ingredients everyone has in their kitchen.........milk, apple cider vinegar and salt.
This is a firm cheese, similar to Farmer's Cheese. The flavor is mild but you could add herbs to give it more kick. I have adjusted the recipe to a more manageable size. The original recipe was 3x the measures I will be using.
Start with 10 2/3 cups of milk. Heat to 180 degrees. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar.
Stir until it separates.
For the next steps you will need cheese cloth, a colander, a mason jar filled with warm water and a large can with both ends cut off. The can and jar will be your cheese mold/press. Have this ready before you start heating the milk because the curd must be hot when you pour it into your makeshift mold. I used a plastic container that I cut both ends off. You also need a pretty large bowl......much larger than the one shown. Trust me on that......... Also make sure your jar can fit inside your can.
Put colander over bowl. Now put can on colander. Line can with cheese cloth. Pour cheese curd and whey ( liquid that separates from curd) through cheese cloth and add salt to the curd stirring with a spoon. This is a little awkward but do the best you can.
Here is the super cool part. After the salt has been added, gather the ends of the cheese cloth and twist tightly, kind of like you would close a bread bag. Allow the end to lay on top of the curd bundle. Now gently put the water filled jar on top of the bundle and let set for a few hours. You have just made a cheese press! Remove cheese from cheese cloth, once it feels like it is firm and won't fall apart. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one full day. This allows the texture to "mature". This would be a great project to do with children, just be sure you handle the hot whey. I bet the kids would gobble this cheese up, especially since they made it! Diana