Goat Cheese – Take 1

I love making preserves, I really do, but after hundreds of different kinds made I’m itching to break into different forms of preserving and one of my stated goalsis to branch off into cheesemaking.This is take 1 of the Great Cheesemaking Experiment and thanks to the wonderful blog notes from maggie’s farm, I had a wonderful recipe and tutorial. I made a very scaled back version of her recipe, but was still satisfied with the amount it made. Maggie suggests really fresh goat milk and since I’m a member of a CSGS (Community Supported Goat Share), I pick up my freshly pasteurized goat milk every Saturday morning for the incredible price of $2.50/L. I figured even if the cheese didn’t work out, it was hardly a risky financial venture. (For more interesting information on CSGS and the trials and tribulations of my local goat farmer, see the CBC article and video found here.)

Sunday afternoon, in went the litre of goat milk into a medium sized pot set over low heat (my range goes from minimum to 5 and I kept it around a 1.5). If you have a candy thermometer it comes in handy as mine had the attachment to rest on the side of the pot, unlike my meat thermometer. Stir frequently. Your goal is 175 degrees, which takes about 30-40 minutes to reach.

How It Begins

Once it has reached the proper temperature, we dropped it down to the minimum heat setting and kept it there for 10 minutes before removing from the heat and stirring in 1/2 ounce of white vinegar, covered the pot and let it sit for five minutes. Realizing it wasn’t enough to separate the whey from the curds, we added an extra 1/4 ounce for a total of 3/4 ounce of white vinegar. We covered the pot for another five minutes and was rewarded with this:

Separating the Curds from the Whey

We poured it into a fine mesh cheese cloth, hung it from a cupboard knob and let it drip overnight. Easy peasy.

Strain

Mr. Uncanny went ahead and mixed in the salt the following morning (with unknown quantities, I was a little groggy and pre-coffee and didn’t think to ask). Shaped it and threw it in the fridge and I enjoyed a little hunk of it tonight with some cranberry preserves. It was a delicious, mild cheese that adapted itself well to sweet and savoury. It did lack the distinct tang you expect from a goat cheese and reminded me of a paneer. Still, as from maggie’s farm points out, you’re a cheesemaker and that’s a pretty fantastic accomplishment!

Behold: Goat Cheese!

I wonder what’s next…

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4 thoughts on “Goat Cheese – Take 1

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