I want to make cottage cheese. It never seems to happen though, but I keep trying. The shop bought stuff used to be lovely but these days, to me, it always tastes off, no matter what they put into it. It can’t be that hard, but I never seem to manage it.
Along the way, though, I have ended up with a very nice Something Else. A very fresh, soft cheese.
I had bought some full cream milk (found it in Sainsbury’s) so wanted to use that for my cheese attempt. I had no rennet so lemon juice it had to be. Sainsbury’s Basic lemons are quite possibly the meanest I’ve come across, juice-wise, (it took five of them to get 1/3 cup of juice) but they smelled gorgeous.
1 litre Graham’s Gold Jersey milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp white vinegar
Put the milk in a stainless steel pan, and heat it gently until bubbles start to form around the edge and the top looks foamy.
Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice and vinegar, plus a pinch of salt, stir and then leave to sit for 10 minutes. It should curdle and start to split. It doesn’t split into large lumps, but it does split.
(If it doesn’t, heat gently again and add another tablespoon of lemon juice. NOT vinegar.)
Line a colander with a large piece of cheesecloth or a clean teatowel.
Pour the split milk into this then bring the corners together to form a bag.
I tied the top of mine with a piece of string that I could then loop over the tap to drain.
I let it drip for around 2 hours, then turned it out into a Tupperware.
I’m going to try rennet next time, as I don’t always want the lemon flavour, but this is really good on bread or crackers with honey on top, and I’m going to stuff peppers with it tomorrow.
For my taste, next time I would also not add white vinegar as it was a bit too strong. It does make for a very tangy cheese for eating on its own, but with a drizzle of honey it’s perfect.
The Gold milk gives it such a buttery colour, so I’ll definitely use that again!
The hunt for cottage cheese will continue…
Edited: Later that weekend…
I made a salad. The cheese had sat in the fridge for 24 hours. It crumbled perfectly, and went incredibly well with not just the salad ingredients, but with chargrilled aubergine too. Lovely! Next time I shall try and turn it into feta. Sorry. Salad cheese.
Those are Essex olives, picked from my own tree and home cured.