[Sca-cooks] Cheese fat? - LOOONNGG!

Kathleen Madsen kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com
Fri Aug 17 06:25:54 PDT 2007

Hi, Gunther!

Wonderful project!  I've only made slipcoat cheese a
couple of times, mainly because I'm busy trying to
perfect other rinds at the moment.  Red smear, if
anyone's interested, the kind that's found on a true
munster or on a Pont l'Eveque.

However, here's what I got from my notes, and I've
included the recipe from Digby at the bottom of this
posting.  Yes, the cheese fat is the cheese "vat". 
Laying the cheese back into the vat does two things,
it gives it a smooth finish and allows for different
sizes of cheeses so you don't have to have specific
tools on hand to make this.  As the stroakings are
used this is probably a late spring/early summer
cheese as that's when the milk fat is at it's highest.
 This cheese would be made from the extra cream that
wasn't needed for butter production or lamb/calf

As for using rennet, for this recipe you'd have to use
the real thing unless you can find junket in you local
grocery store.  Junket is a weaker version of rennet
and is used for custards (it makes a killer
pannacotta) and ice creams but Dr. Fankhauser has
developed recipes using junket to make hard cheeses as

The recipe calls for treating the curd very carefully,
keeping the mass as whole as possible.  Not using your
hands but using your skimmer instead.  The general
rule is the larger the curd the more fluid the paste. 
For example, brie is kept as whole as possible while
Parmigiano Reggiano is cut down too a rice size and
heated to a high temp.  The slipcoat cheese will be
more like a young brie in texture, springy and moist
but without being fluid as it gets in its older weeks.

As far as cheesecloth goes, don't use the garbage
that's available in the grocery stores under that
name.  That stuff's only good for kid's craft
projects.  The real thing is available online but just
resembles a slightly open weave cotton muslin.  Good
choices for cheesecloth that can be found around your
home are linen teatowels, scraps of unused muslin, and

Pressing.  The easiest way is to put a plate on the
cheese and put a can or something on top of it.  As
your cloth gets soaked replace it with a clean, dry
one.  This is done because the whey acidifies as the
milk curds and the acidity from the whey can cause the
rind to stick to the cloth and peel off.  It's
important at this stage to keep the rind of the cheese
as smooth as possible as it's going to be aged for
more than a day or two.  Any cracks or folds in the
rind is a place for mold to grow and your cheese could
be destroyed by it.  The next step is to sprinkle the
rind with salt.  This hardens the rind and pulls out
more moisture allowing the cheese to age without going
off.  I tend to use Kosher but I've started playing
with the samples I picked up from the fancy food show,
a pink himalayan, and three smoked salts.  I won't
know what kind of flavor they impart for a few weeks
yet as I just finished the dry salting stage the other
day.  They're sitting on the shelves aging right now.

As for reeds, I tend to use sushi mats.  They work
well, are uniform in size and shape, and are easy to

So there you have my initial brain dump.  Let me know
if you run into any problems along the way, I've
probably dealt with most of them at one time or

Eibhlin, Laurelled for cheesemaking and professional

The recipe you are using:


Master Phillips his Method and proportions in making
slippe-coat Cheese,
are these. Take six wine quarts of stroakings, and two
quarts of Cream;
mingle these well together, and let them stand in a
bowl, till they are
cold. Then power upon them three pints of boiling fair
water, and mingle
them well together; then let them stand, till they are
almost cold, colder
then milk-warm. Then put to it a moderate quantity of
Runnet, made with
fair water (not whey, or any other thing then water;
this is an important
point), and let it stand till it come. Have a care not
to break the Curds,
nor ever to touch them with your hands, but only with
your skimming dish.
In due time lade the Curds with the dish, into a thin
fine Napkin, held up
by two persons, that the whey may run from them
through the bunt of the
Napkin, which you rowl gently about, that the Curds
may dry without
breaking. When the whey is well drained out, put the
Curds as whole as you
can into the Cheese-fat, upon a napkin, in the fat.
Change the Napkin, and
turn the Cheese every quarter of an hour, and less,
for ten, twelve or
fourteen times; that is, still as soon as you perceive
the Napkin wet with
the whay running from the Curds. Then press it with a
half pound weight for
two or three hours. Then add half a pound more for as
long time, then
another half pound for as long, and lastly another
half pound, which is two
pounds in all; which weight must never be exceeded.
The next day, (when
about twenty four hours are past in all) salt your
Cheese moderately with
white Salt, and then turn it but three or four times a
day, and keep it in
a cotton cloth, which will make it mellow and sweet,
not rank, and will
preserve the coat smooth. It may be ready to eat in
about twelve days. Some
lay it to ripen in dock-leaves, and it is not amiss;
but that in rain they
will be wet, which moulds the Cheese. Others in flat
fit boxes of wood,
turning them, as is said, three or four times a day.
But a cotton cloth is
best. This quantity is for a round large Cheese, of
about the bigness of a
sale ten peny Cheese, a good fingers-breadth thick.
Long broad grass
ripeneth them well, and sucketh out the moisture.
Rushes are good also.
They are hot, but dry not the moisture so well.

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