Posted by: Barbara Evanhoe | June 4, 2012

Homemade Goat Cheese

I have been waiting for spring and summer ever since last winter when I stumbled upon some recipes for making homemade goat cheese.

I couldn’t believe how simple it seemed! But then, after contemplating the idea, I decided that rustic, country folk have been making this humble little cheese for ages, without modern conveniences, so it would have to – by nature – be a simple process.

Now, the cheese I’m talking about a soft, ricotta-type of spreadable cheese, that would go well with a hunk of homemade bread and a glass of country wine….not bricks of hard cheese which require more time and effort.

The ingredients are few: fresh, unpasteurized, goat milk and lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.

The challenge for me, was finding fresh goat milk that had not been pasteurized. I couldn’t find it in any of the stores here, and that is why I had to wait until spring and summer – for our neighbor’s goats to begin producing milk again.

Well, a week or so ago, the happy day came when I was able to purchase my first half gallon of fresh, pure goat milk. I was so excited!

I’d poured over recipes online for the past few months, and although most of them are about the same, measurements and setting time varied a lot, so I just made up my own recipe from the many that I looked at, and got right to work.

I used only half my milk in the first batch just in case it was a flop. Here’s what I did…..

Put 4 cups of fresh goat milk into a pan and set the gas flame on low, to slowly heat the milk to 180 degrees.

When it reached that temperature, I turned off the heat and added 3 tablespoons of Bragg’s apple cider vinegar, and stirred for a moment.

At once, little white “dots” appeared in the cream-colored whey, so I knew that something was happening.

I left the cheese and whey in the pan for 35 minutes, and then strained it through cheesecloth, and there in the cloth was about a half cup of soft, white cheese ~ I was ecstatic!

Many recipes I’d read called for letting the cheese drain in the cheesecloth for hours, but I think that letting it set up in the whey permitted me to skip that step, as the cheese was thick enough that it didn’t really have liquid in it that needed to drain out.

I went out to the garden and snipped some fresh basil and chives, and added a bit of salt, and voila – my goat cheese was ready to sample.

It was delicious, and we are addicted!

Since then, I’ve made several additional batches of this spreadable treat, and each time with the same success, so it wasn’t just “beginner’s luck” on that first batch.

The leftover whey is a healthy beverage full of minerals and digestive bacteria, so we’ve been using it to make our morning fruit smoothies.

I have even found a lovely group of recipes which use whey to make lacto-fermented foods that are tasty and healthy…..so look for an upcoming blog on that topic when I’ve had time to experiment.

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Responses

  1. Lovely post… I’m saving this for my wife for when she gets back from her travels!


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