Today's Quote


“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Monday, May 17, 2010

Chevre

The term chevre simply means "goat cheese" in french. However, usually when folks are talking cheese and refer to chevre they are talking about a soft molded cheese that is very creamy in texture, like cream cheese or neufchatel cheese. Most recipes I find regarding chevre are pretty much the same so here is one that I have tried and liked a lot. Blessings.

Fias Co Farm's Chevre

1/2 gallon fresh goat milk
1/8 tsp. mesophilic DVI Culture "MM"* or 1 oz. mesophilic culture (from a mother culture)**
liquid rennett

Note**I used my cultured buttermilk as my mesophilic culture so I used the 1 oz. measurement

In a stainless steel pot, warm the milk to 72°. Actually, when I make this cheese, I just pour the milk I just strained from the morning's milking into the pot and don't worry about the temp. I find this works fine for me.

Add the culture and stir well. Now you need to add 1/5 of a drop of rennet. I know you're saying to yourself, how the heck do I do that. Well it's easy. Measure out 5 Tablespoons of water into a small cup. Add to the water 1 drop of liquid rennet and stir well. Now measure out 1 Tablespoon of the rennet dilution (this one Tablespoon contains 1/5 of a drop of rennet) and add it to the milk. Stir well.

Cover the milk and place the pot somewhere that it can sit undisturbed and will stay about 72° for about 18 hours (sometimes I let it go 24 hours). What I do is place the pot in the cold oven until the next day. Try to remember that the milk is in the oven and don't plan on doing any baking that day.

When the milk has coagulated (it will look like thick yogurt) you are ready to drain the curds or mold the cheese.

Pour off any whey that has separated from the curd. Place your molds on a rack over a large baking pan. A lot of whey will drain from your cheese, and you will need a large pan to catch it. Carefully ladle the curds into the molds.

If you want to make your cheese fancy at this point, you can add seasoning to the curds as you ladle them into the molds. You could put in a couple scoops of curd in the mold and then sprinkle on some herbs, freshly ground pepper or garlic. Then ladle in the rest of the curds. You don't need to worry about salting anything at this point.

Let the curds drain for two days. I do this at room temperature. You could drain the cheese in the fridge if you have room (I never do). I cover the molds to keep out any unwanted "nasties."

After the cheese has drained you can carefully unmold them into your hand. Sprinkle all the sides of the cheese with a little Kosher salt and wrap them in plastic wrap. The cheese will keep for about 2 weeks in the fridge.

(Recipe is courtesy of Fias Co Farm)

If you choose to drain this cheese in a bag, which you can do, then it would be called fromage blanc and not chevre. You would drain bag style for 6-8 hours.

This cheese is supposed to freeze well and so can be kept in supply even when milk is short. I so far have not frozen any, but I will do so soon as our milk supply is increasing.

Hope you all enjoy and thanks to Fias Co for a great easy to follow recipe!

6 comments:

Kelly said...

Interesting-that's quite different from the directions that came with my chevre culture. Some similarities, but sounds like the outcome is different. I warm the milk to 86, add the culture and set aside for up to 24 hours. Then I scoop the curds out into a muslin lined sieve and tie up the ends to hang for another 6-8 hours. It's more crumbly than creamy. I wondered if I could pour it into the molds I have, might try it. I use a gallon of milk to make it, and end up with about a pound of cheese (I haven't weighed it, not sure why I think there's a pound there) and about 3 qts of whey. I saved 1 qt to start a buttermilk culture (might not work) and gave the rest to the chickens. Experience will help us both!

Kat said...

What you made according to the world of cheese is "fromage blanc". The culture that you are using might make a difference in the texture. Don't really know that for sure, just taking a wild guess in the dark. The buttermillk made from whey will not work because you have already stripped out the cream for the cheese. You can use the whey to make ricotta though or to use in breads (just substitute the whey for other liquids). Blessings, Kat

Kat said...

Kelly, took a look and others have had this problem. What the cheese gurus have told them is that their temp is too high. Like you they used 86 degrees. They pretty much all have said that for proper chevre you should never exceed 78 degrees and that summer time is almost impossible to make good chevre. The higher temp cause the culture to get too acid too quickly resulting in a dry crumbly curd because it lets go of the whey too quickly. At a lower temp the curd forms long strands which hold the whey better resulting in a creamy chevre. They also say that you should periodically mix the chevre as it is draining so that the outside doesn't get too dry while the inside has a hard time draining. Of course, that comes from someone who was making a good sized batch, so smaller batches might not have that problem. Hope that helps, Kat

Kelly said...

Hmmm, the 86 is what the instructions that came with the culture say. Heat it to 86, add the culture and keep around 72 after that. I found a website for the buttermilk starter and it said to use skim milk, and isn't that pretty much what whey is? It's not for the buttermilk, just the perpetual starter. I think Tony is going to make something that will keep cheese at a certain temp for us so that the heat isn't an issue.

Amy Manning said...

Fias County? Do you mean Fias Co?

Kat said...

Amy, yes I did. Temporary brain bubble. Thanks, Kat