[Sca-cooks] A different "Fresh Cheese" question

Huette von Ahrens ahrenshav at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 3 15:03:34 PDT 2008

I wish to add that Dragon taught a class at Potrero War this past Memorial Day weekend on making
fresh cheese and creme fresche.  Afterwards, he stopped by our booth and gave us samples of both
of these.  Let me tell you that both were sooooooooooooo good and tasty that I would be very happy
to let him make both of them for me for any banquet that I was a cook for.  Heck, he could make
some for me for everyday usage also.  I wouldn't turn him down.  The creme fresche was the best I
have ever had.  The fresh cheese was like a dry version of ricotta without the grittiness that
ricotta is prone to and with more flavor.  Yeah!  You rock, Dragon!


--- Dragon <dragon at crimson-dragon.com> wrote:

> The amount of acid needed to curdle a given quantity of milk for an 
> acid set cheese is not a constant. You can't just measure some amount 
> and add it to the milk and expect it to work every time. Milk, lemon 
> juice and even vinegar are variable products and you need to add 
> enough acid to produce full coagulation. How much is enough? It's 
> pretty easy to tell, when you see the liquid go from opaque white to 
> a pale, translucent yellow, you have added enough. This generally 
> works out to about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of lemon juice when I do it but you 
> really have to add it a little at a time and watch the reaction.
> The temperature for making an acid set cheese should also be about 
> 165F to 175F, at this temperature range, the acid performs best to 
> cause all of the proteins and milk fat to form curds. Below this 
> range you do not get complete conversion, above it, you start to 
> damage the curd.
> Don't use junket, it is really weak and not a good choice for trying 
> to make any sort of cheese. Get liquid rennet (animal derived is best 
> but vegetable types work OK too).
> When you use rennet, you still need to allow the milk to acidify 
> prior to adding the rennet. If you do not, you will get very rubbery 
> curds. The amount of rennet needed is also variable, the same break 
> from white to pale yellow liquid is a good indicator of how much you 
> should add. The acidification of the milk is most often done with a 
> lactobacillus culture. These cultures can be ordered from a cheese 
> making supplier.
> Always stir in your coagulant gently. Too much agitation will break 
> up your curds into tiny pieces.
> Let the curds sit for at least 15 minutes, longer is better. This 
> allows them to come together and be easily removed from the whey. 
> Please note that if you use goat milk, all you will get is very fine 
> curds, it simply does not set the same way as cow or sheep milk.
> Get some butter muslin. Especially if you are going to do goat 
> cheese. It is much finer weave than cheesecloth. And while we are at 
> it, buy your cheesecloth from a cheese making supplier, not a grocery 
> store, the difference in quality is worth the extra price. The better 
> stuff is washable and reusable for a long time, the cheap stuff will 
> fall apart and leave lint in your cheese.
> As for the specifics of temperature, cultures to use, maturing times, 
> molding, aging, etc. I really suggest getting this book which has 
> some excellent information and a lot of recipes:
> "Home Cheese Making" by Ricki Carrol (ISBN 9781580174640)
> http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Home-Cheese-Making/Ricki-Carroll/e/9781580174640 
> Dragon

My thoughts are whirled like a potter's wheel;   King Henry VI, part I: I, v 


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