My First Creamery Experience: Working (Theoretically) with the Milkmaid! (Part 2)
If you haven’t already read the first part, feel free to read it here!
I wanted to start easy: Yogurt, Kaffir, Creme Fraiche, etc. My mom on the other hand? Well, she was ready to jump right into the cheeses. I envy her for her power to just take the bull by the horns, I hope to one day achieve that characteristic! Her choice? Well, since the cheese demo we attended, she’s been itching for some farmer’s cheese, aka fromage blanc.
What is farmer’s cheese? Before the cheese demo I always thought it was just a name for a cheese made on a small… well… farm! It turns out it’s more than that. Actually, much much more. It’s similar in taste to that of cottage cheese, though the texture is a bit more crumbly.
At the cheese demo we attended, Louella Hill made Farmer’s Cheese, so we both agreed that it would be an easy start. We already had the basic understanding of what to do, we just had to replicate it ourselves. Yesterday afternoon we added Cultured Buttermilk to our regular milk, and sat it out for the 24 hours of waiting time. Oh, side note: If you ever do this, make sure to let anyone in the house be aware not to use the milk sitting out and not to put the milk in the fridge.
So today after we incubated my yogurt, we continued the process of the cheese making. Another long span of waiting and boiling milk came along, though this time we were doing it to make the milk turn into curdles and separate from the whey. Pretty easy seeing how it’s been so hot so our milk started curdling on its own before we had even gotten it into the pot!
After our milk got to its desired temperature, we let it cool before putting it into the cheese cloth to strain for four hours. When the time came around we were more than excited to get down and dirty to mash up our cheese.
It sat there for probably a minute or two, my mother and I anxiously talking and staring at the cheese. Who would do the honors of the first mash? My mom, the sweetheart she is, let me begin mixing the cheese together.
After adding a bit of butter milk here, some salt here, a bit more butter milk here, finally around 9:30 this evening we were done creating our cheese! It tasted phenomenal: Exactly like cottage cheese, only a dryer, more crumbly texture. My mother and I then agreed to continue on a bit more, and even took half the batch, threw it in our cuisinart, and made some cream cheese!
I can’t help but say this… It was the best cream cheese I ever tasted. Light, fluffy, and missing that gummy nasty texture store-bought cream cheese has. I’m beyond excited to use it!
Ideas are racing through my mind of recipes I can do with the farmer’s cheese and the cream cheese. But for now? It’s time to hit the sack. I’ve got the gym and work tomorrow, and then obviously some more cooking!
A little aside: If you want to learn more about Louella Hill and her work, check out her website!