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Homemade cheese

Simple pleasures: Homemade fresh cheese

Simple and easy recipe for homemade soft, cream cheese made from whole milk and fresh cream. This example features garden herbs for a fresh burst of flavor but can be adjusted any way you like.
Course Dairy
Cuisine Continental
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 5 -10
Author Johan Johansen

Ingredients

  • 1 liter whole milk best and freshest you can get
  • 150 ml heavy cream
  • one lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs I used a selection of lemon thyme, basil, Moroccan mint and pineapple sage. But you can use whatever floats your boat.
  • Cheese cloth if you can’t find cheese cloth, you can use a coffee filter of a finely woven cloth

Instructions

  1. Pour the milk and cream into a heavy bottom pot set over medium heat.
  2. Heat milk and cream mixture slowly over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until a probe thermometer reads 85C (185F). Obviously you’ll want to make sure your thermometer isn’t touching the bottom of the pot when you’re doing your reading.
  3. If you don’t have a thermometer, you’ll know you’re getting close to 85C when steam rises rapidly from the pot, little bubbles are forming on the surface and the surface looks like it’s just about to simmer.
  4. Once up to temperature, remove pot from the heat and slowly drizzle the lemon juice over the entire surface of the pot.
  5. When all the lemon juice has been added, slowly and gently stir the pot for a few minutes to encourage the curd formation. You should notice the milk curdling pretty quickly, if nothing happens, add a bit more lemon juice or a small amount of distilled vinegar. Only add as needed, though, as it may affect the flavor in the end.
  6. After a few minutes, carefully pour the contents of the pot into a fine meshed sieve lined with a couple of layers of cheese cloth set over a bowl
  7. Allow the curds to drain for at least half an hour (for a very soft cheese) to overnight (for a very firm cheese).
  8. When you’re happy with the consistency, generously season your freshly made cheese with A LOT of salt along with your selection of chopped herbs.
  9. Mix everything carefully together and scoop into a ramekin, small bowl or similar, cover and place in the fridge at least overnight. This last step is not absolutely essential, but I do find it makes for a better end result if you allow some time for the flavors to blend together.

Recipe Notes

The end results of this recipe will probably serve upwards of ten for a sampler or five or so cheeseheads.