Fresh cheese is made with pasteurized cow, goat, or sheep milk. You only need three ingredients and a little skill. There are different methods for curdling milk, but the traditional one is based on animal rennet and calcium chloride (to facilitate curdling and provide the amount of calcium that the milk may have lost in the pasteurization process).
Cheese is one of the most consumed foods worldwide and on each continent, in each country, and in each region we have many varieties. They say that fresh cheese dates back to approximately 9000 BC There are several theories about how the production of fresh cheeses was discovered and I prefer the following: a merchant who crossed the desert carried milk stored in a bag made with the stomach of a sheep. When he went to drink it he found that it had curdled and fermented. The heat of the desert and the substances (rennet) of the stomach of the lamb did their thing for the milk to curdle and ferment.
To make a rich and substantial fresh cheese, the most important thing is to find quality fresh pasteurized milk. In addition, a thermometer will be very useful to measure the temperature that the rennet needs to take effect and we have to be careful not to overdo it so as not to kill the microorganisms that cause the magic of the rennet and, consequently, of the cheese to arise. The rest is fundamental and an ambient temperature of about 20 ºC or 25 ºC so that the result of the rennet is perfect. Surely once you do it you will repeat it because, in addition to being simple, homemade always tastes better.
- Preparation time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
- Cooking time: 10 minutes
- Total time: 1 day, 2 hours, and 40 minutes
- Servings: 8
- Category: starter
- Type of cuisine: international
- Calories: 62 kcal per 100 g
Fresh Cheese Ingredients For 8 People
- 1.5 l fresh pasteurized whole milk
- 5 ml of Snow animal rennet
- 3 ml of calcium chloride
- 1 teaspoon salt
- aromatic herbs (optional)
How To Make Fresh Cheese
To make fresh cheese, heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat until it reaches 40ºC. We will measure it with the thermometer. Keep in mind that each rennet needs a temperature to curdle the milk, although all of them are around 40ºC.
When the milk reaches the right temperature, we separate the pan from the heat and add the calcium chloride (already lowered to 33% with water).
Give the milk a couple of turns and immediately add the rennet. We give it a couple more turns and reserve the casserole covered at room temperature for about 2 hours. After the rest time, we uncover the bread and we will see that the milk has curdled.
Then we take a round-tipped knife and cut the rennet first horizontally and then vertically, forming squares. This process is a bit tricky.
The next step will be to drain the rennet so that the cheese is formed. To do this, we put the cheese in a mold that has small holes or on a gauze. If we want to add salt, this is a perfect time.
In this case, I have used the basket of my food processor. Also, by placing it inside the robot it is on the bottom and I can keep it covered nicely. If we don’t have a basket, we can get a kit to make cheese or make it ourselves by making holes in Tupperware or disposable plastic mold.
It is a very versatile preparation, so much so that we can even make other recipes using fresh cheese such as Quesada passing, some sponge cake… The whey should not be thrown away, it is a source of protein, it has no fat and to make muffins (for example) it is a great ally in the kitchen. In addition, we can freeze the whey in jars and take it out when we are going to make a dessert or another recipe in which we need it.
Easy Preparation Overview
- Heat the milk over medium heat until it reaches 40ºC
- Remove the milk from the heat and add the calcium chloride and the rennet, give it a few turns and let it rest for 2 hours, covered, at room temperature.
- Check that the milk has curdled
- Cut the rennet into not very large squares
- Transfer the rennet to a perforated container with small holes and leave the draining covered for 24 hours in the fridge.
- Unmold the cheese after 24 hours and enjoy it accompanied by honey, nuts, salmon… or whatever we prefer at that time
- Reserve the whey for other recipes
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