Perfect for spring, goat cheese is lively and lemony. It’s ridiculously easy to make, and you’ll never have it fresher.
Stockpot (large enough to hold a gallon of milk)
Butter muslin or high-quality cheesecloth
Cheese forms (optional, for making logs or other shaped cheeses)
1 gallon whole goat milk
1 packet direct-set chèvre starter
Optional: fresh herbs, roasted garlic, cracked pepper or other flavorings
1. Heat milk to 86 degrees, then remove from heat. Sprinkle packet of starter over heated milk and stir in gently.
2. Cover milk and let sit at room temperature for about 12 hours. An easy method is to mix in the starter in the evening, and proceed to the next step sometime in the morning.
3. At this point, the curds should have separated out of the whey. Line a colander (or cheese forms) with muslin or cheesecloth. With a slotted spoon, ladle the curds gently into the cheesecloth.
4. You can let the curds drain directly in the colander or in your cheese forms. Or you can tie the cloth up into a bag and hang it to drain with the help of gravity. Allow cheese to drain for 6 to 12 hours. The more it drains, the firmer your cheese will be. A chèvre drained for 6 hours will have a cream cheese-like consistency. Chèvre that drains longer is more firm and can be shaped into a ball or log, if you like.
5. If you wish, you can stir in herbs, specialty salts, cracked pepper, roasted garlic, roasted peppers or other flavorings at this stage. Your chèvre will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.
Yield: About 1 1/2 pounds fresh goat cheese
Did You Know?
Not all milks are created equal. Goat milk contains more butterfat and protein than cow’s milk, but less lactose. It’s also naturally homogenized, all of which makes it easier for many people to digest.
Find Cheesemaking Supplies
Glengarry Cheesemaking and Dairy Supply
New England Cheesemaking Supply
Cheese Connoisseur magazine
The Cheesemaker’s Manual by Margaret Morris
Hay Fever by Angela Miller
Milk by Anne Mendelson