A friend of mine and her daughter have several goats and this year they began milking them. Every day. Twice a day. Not without a struggle. As they are lacto-ovo vegetarians as well, they don’t use that much milk. However they have experimented with kefir and cheese. Now they are experimenting with giving some milk away.
I have been a lucky recipient of a quart of freshly milked, unpasteurized goat milk. I intended to make cheese out of it, and in the heating for the cheese the milk would become pasteurized.
I’ve learned a little about making cheese, and I’d like to learn more. What I made was an easy acid-based spreadable or crumbly cheese. This requires lemon juice or vinegar added when the heated milk reaches 180 degrees F.
The milk immediately separates into curds and whey.
This is poured through cheesecloth,
then all four corners tied and the cheese suspended over a pot or bowl to drain.
My result was like a dry cottage cheese. I hung it longer than recommended, so perhaps too much moisture seeped away. Then, before I combined it with seasonings, I put it into the refrigerator since I was busy with something else. I think that hardened up the cheese as well. The seasonings didn’t so much as combine with the cheese curds as they just mixed up with them.
That worked out okay. Instead of spreading the cheese on toast, I crumbled it into a vegetable and pasta dish for dinner and it was tasty, as well as a good extra source of protein, and just fun to eat because we had made it from the milk of goats we have met!
A quart doesn’t make much cheese; in fact, it made about half a cup of crumbly cheese.
The whey is a rich souce of nutrition, but is often thrown away. With the acid added to it, it has an unpleasant flavor for drinking. I used it, with the addition of more water, to boil the pasta for the meal, then after it cooled poured it on my outdoor plants. You can use it to replace water in baking or feed it to your chickens… just don’t dump it down the sink!
This recipe is for a quart of goat milk, which doesn’t produce much cheese. Recipes I looked at all recommended a quarter cup of lemon juice, but the cheese curdled for me at no more than an eighth of a cup. Maybe you’ll have different results. You don’t have to hunt down a goatkeeper, either. Goatmilk is sold in supermarkets.
- One quart fresh goat’s milk
- Up to ⅛th cup fresh lemon juice or vinegar
- Seasonings such as half a garlic clove grated, thyme, Herbs du Provence, etc., and coarse salt
- Affix a cooking thermometer to the side of a medium saucepan.
- Add goat milk so that the thermometer is submersed in the liquid but not touching the bottom.
- Heat over medium heat until the temperature reaches 180 F.
- Remove pot from heat and gauge from side of pot.
- Stir in lemon juice or vinegar a teaspoon at a time until curds form. You’ll know it when it happens! There will be curd and almost clear whey.
- Line a bowl with double layer cheesecloth.
- Pour contents of pot into cheesecloth.
- Tie corners of cheesecloth together over a wooden spoon and allow to hang over bowl or pot to drain.
- Drain cheese one hour or more. The longer you drain it, the more dry it will be.
- Remove cheese from cheesecloth and place in bowl with the seasonings of your choice. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
- Use crumbly cheese on top of hot pasta or vegetables.