Monday, May 31, 2010

How To Make Farmer's Cheese


Farmer's Cheese is a dairy product, some call it curd cheese in the US.
If you never had this cheese I'd say it's a cross between ricotta and cottage cheese. Ricotta cheese is made from whey and Farmer's cheese is made from cow's milk. They are very similar to each other but I personally find Farmer's cheese creamier.
In Slovakia this cheese is like bread. I basically grew up on it, we use it  in baking, desserts, fillings even  savory dishes.
Here in the US, it is rarely available, only some of the Eastern European stores carry this product, if I'm lucky I sometimes find it on the shelf at a local farm, but is is rather expensive and it tastes rather dry on its own.
Today I made my own Farmer's cheese using only few very common  kitchen ingredients.

Homemade Farmer's Cheese (makes about 4 cups of cheese) VIDEO TUTORIAL
 
3 quarts(3liters) Whole Milk ( don't use low fat or  fat free milk, it produces leathery texture)
3cups(720ml) buttermilk - Learn how to make Buttermilk
10 1/2 tbl. White  Distilled Vinegar(lemon juice is a great substitute, it creates lemon flavored cheese, but it can be expensive, as you need several lemons)
1/2 tsp Salt
candy thermometer
Fine Mesh  Sieve
  • Homemade Buttermilk: into the 1cup (240ml)measure pour  1/2 tbl vinegar add milk to fill the cup. Repeat to get 3 cups, stir and set aside for 5-10 minutes.
  • Attach thermometer onto the pot. Add milk into the pot. Heat 3 quarts milk with salt, on medium high setting, stirring occasionally, until milk reaches 180F.
  • Turn of the heat, add buttermilk into the hot milk, stir, then add remaining 9 tbl vinegar and stir again gently. Milk will start to separate and curds will form. Once you see this happening, stop stirring.
  • Let the curdled milk sit undistrurbed for 10-15 minutes.
  • Place a fine mesh sieve on top of a large pot.
  • Take a laddle or a measuring cup and spoon curds into the sieve, drain.
  • Let the curs drain, cool for about 30 minutes.
  • Cover with a plate, transfer to a fridge and drain overnight or at least 4 hours. Store in an airtight container, refrigerate for up to a week.
  • Drained liqued is whey, a by product of cheese making. You can use it in breads, or drink it.
  • You can also use cheese cloth to drain the curds. I'm not using cheese cloth anymore, I only use fine mesh sieve.
 









 
 
I stopped using cheese cloth, it gets messy, fine mesh sieve works great alone



 You can also make a delicious smoothie using Farmer's cheese, using your blender a touch of milk, honey.. blend away and ...here you have it a perfectly healthy treat :

4 comments:

  1. This is very insightful! Looks like cottage cheese to me! I didn't know that's how you make farmer's cheese but now i know. I have always wondered what is farmer's cheese! Why is it that we can't use lemon juice to make farmer cheese but it is ok when making buttermilk? I wonder how the yellow liquid taste like though..is it sour?

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  2. Faithy, great to see you stopped by, well as for the liquid...it doesn't really smell that good, I suppose it is sour. I have never tasted it.
    As for the lemon, I have only tried this recipe with vinegar, and I read somewhere that lemon is not good for this, I haven't tested it yet, I might try that just to see if it really is true.I mentioned that only because I haven't used it and I'm not 100% it would work with lemon as well as with vinegar. I was reading more last night about cheese making and I have a feeling that article that stated that you can't use lemon was wrong, I'll let you know how it goes when I try lemon.

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  3. I've never seen farmers cheese before...it's a must try!! Does it taste like Labneh/Labna cheese? Thanks for sharing this :)

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  4. Thank you! Farmers cheese is so hard to find around here and so expensive. I make vereniki (like perogi) with it. Now it's nice to know I can make my own!

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