I’m in a workshop to get certified as a Master Gardener with the county agricultural extension center, which is sponsored by University of Maryland. It is a great collection of people and our purpose is volunteer work, giving back to the community. One of the other gardeners has a herd of goats and she brought homemade goat cheese to class which was absolutely delicious. After talking to her, I got inspired to make it myself and it was really easy & fun. She uses fresh goat milk but it can also be done with goat milk purchased at any grocery store. Enjoy !!
HOMEMADE GOAT CHEESE
- 1 quart goat’s milk (pasteurized is fine, but don’t use ultra-pasteurized)
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice or white vinegar
- salt to taste
- A non-reactive pot, i.e. stainless steel pot
- Thermometer – not required but it helps
- Wood or stainless-steel spoon with a long handle
Slowly heat the milk on the stove until it reaches 180 – 185 degrees. Gentle bubbles should be forming and the surface will look foamy. This is just before the milk comes to a boil. This should take about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat.
Stir in the lemon juice then let the milk sit for at least an hour. It can sit several hours or overnite, which will increase the curdling. The milk should curdle but it won’t be anything drastic like cottage cheese.
Line a colander with two layers of cheese cloth. Gently pour the milk into the cheese cloth then gather the cheesecloth up around the curds and tie it into a bundle. A rubberband is also a good way to hold the cheese cloth together at the top. Discard whey.
Hang the bundle over a pot or jar so the liquid can drip out. (You can do this by attaching the bundle to a wooden spoon or a ladle and setting the spoon over the top of the pot or jar.)
Let the cheese drain for at least 1 1/2 hours. For a drier cheese, allow to drain overnite. Scrape the cheese into a bowl. Discard all whey. Stir in salt and/or other ingredients to taste.
Use your hands to pat and shape the cheese into a small wheel or log. The flavor and texture of the cheese usually improves a little bit if you refrigerate it for a few hours before serving.
The goat cheese should stay fresh in the refrigerator for 1 week. Keep in an air-tight container in the coldest section. This cheese does not freeze well.