Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tangy Victory

I am writing this post while happily munching on a goat cheese tartine. (A slice of toasted bread with fresh chevre smothered on it). And yes, I made it. With the help from those splendid people at Summerhill Dairy and the fantastic folks at The New England Cheesemaking Supply Company I was able to successfully produce my first batch of chevre.

After the curds had set and the whey had over 12 hours to drain, I divided the cheese into three batches. One was mixed with herbs de provence, the other was mixed with black pepper, and the third was untouched. I then rolled them in plastic wrap and squeezed them through a cylindrical mold. Now I have three happy cheese logs sitting on the top shelf of my refrigerator.

Basic Chevre:
1 gallon goat milk (I use Summerhill Dairy since it tastes fresh, isn't goaty  and the milk is not ultrapasteurized)
1 packet "Chevre" (you can get them here from the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company)
Stainless Steel pot
Stainless Steel slotted spoon
dried herbs
non-iodized salt

  • Gently heat the milk to 86ºF
  • Pour in the Chevre packet and let sit for 2-3 minutes
  • Stir the milk to ensure even distribution of the cultures
  • Cover and let sit at room temperature (roughly 72-75º) for 12 hours
  • With a slotted spoon, gently place the curds in a colander lined with cheesecloth
  • Tie the cheesecloth and let the curds hang over the sink or a bowl for 3 hours at room temperature. 
  • Transfer the hanging curds to the refrigerator to continue to drip for another 9 hours
  • Put the curds in a bowl and sprinkle with 1.5-3 teaspoons of salt, mix thoroughly
  • Mold the curds or place in an airtight container for storage. 
The cheese should last about a week and a half in the refrigerator.  However, I cannot imagine that there will still be cheese left after a couple of days.

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