Saturday, April 22, 2017

Making Goat Cheese- Chèvre

 Cherve is French for goat cheese.  If you have access to goat milk goat cheese is easy to make.  It is a soft spreadable cheese unique in flavor being somewhat tart and tangy.  A variety of herbs, fruits, and and even honey can be added giving endless options for your palate.  Chèvre can be spread on crackers, bagels, and and topped with your choice of jams or jellies. There are lots of recipes using this delicious cheese.

Chèvre is lower in fat and higher in potassium and vitamin A than cheeses made from cow's milk making it a healthy option.  The following recipe is a semi-soft cheese.

What you will need:  a thermometer, stainless steel pot with a heavy bottom, slotted spoon or ladle, and the Chèvre culture.  The culture needs to be stored in the refrigerator or in the freezer for long term.

 1.  First heat 1 gallon of raw goat's milk to 86 degrees. Stir constantly.

2.  Add one packet of the culture and allow it to rehydrate for 2 minutes and then stir it into the milk.

3.  Cover and let it set at 72 degrees for 12 hours.  Do not stir during this time.

After 12 hours the whey will separate from the curds.  

3.  Ladle the curds into a muslin lined colander or a muslin cheese bag which is what I prefer to use.

Next you will hang the bag and let it drain for 6-12 hours.  If you want to save the whey place a bowl under the bag.  I hang it from a cupboard above a small prep sink.  Some of your animals may enjoy the whey.

After hanging, the cheese can be shaped into loaves or put in containers.  Herbs and spices can be added at this time.  Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Goat cheese can be frozen.

Tomato Basil Goat Cheese
Into your finished cheese stir:

  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 Tbs sun-dried tomatoes snipped fine

Garlic Dill Goat Cheese
Stir into finished goat cheese:

  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 3/4 tsp dry dill weed
  • 1 1/2 Tbs finely minced fresh garlic

What are your favorite herbs to add to goat cheese?

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