[Sca-cooks] Almond milk cheese

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Tue Jun 17 16:18:44 PDT 2008

Mike Acord asked:
<<< I have recently begun making almond milk, mostly to show I  
could.  However,
it has turned out to be a VERY nice alternative to milk, at least as a
refreshing beverage.  I have seen references to an "cheese" made from
almond milk, but I couldn't find a recipe, even in the Florelegium. >>>


<<< Does anyone out there have such a recipe? >>>

Hmmm. Maybe it depends upon your definition of "almond cheese". But  
using the search engine, available from the top page of the  
Florilegium, I get four possible hits searching for the phrase  
"almond cheese" using the "use this exact wording or phrase" option.  
Okay, two of these are just period mentions of almond cheese, but the  
other two include:

In the almond-milk-msg file:
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 00:05:23 -0500
From: Christine A Seelye-King <mermayde at juno.com>
Subject: Re: SC - more almond milk questions

On Mon, 15 Mar 1999 21:32:05 -0600 Helen <him at gte.net> writes:
 >How much milk yield do you get out of a pound of almonds?

You can get about 1 gallon of almond milk for every pound of almonds.

The method Ras describes works well, but you can re-grind your almonds
3,4,or 5 times with new water, as you will get more almond solids and  
out of every grind.  When we did it last month, what was left tasted  
sawdust.  We drained it well, and a friend took it home to incorporate
into soaps as almond fibre.  Mix all of the batches together.

To make almond cheese, take the milk (say 2 cups worth) and put it in a
pot with about 2 tsp. sugar and a splash of rose water.  Let it boil for
some time (a large enamel pot works well, as the small volume of liquid
when boiling will climb the sides of the pot just like milk). When it  
boiled for a while, you will see that it has separated into curds and
whey.  Using your trusty cloth and collander again, pour your mixture
into it and let it strain.  The foam on top of the liquid is your curds,
and the whey that drains out is very pale, moreso than skim milk.  (We
fed the whey to the dogs).  Take the cloth with the drained curds, and
squeeze it to remove leftover moisture.  I put a plate on mine and
pressed it for a while, and then squeezed again.  When it is drained, it
will form a ball.  Refrigerate this and let it rest for a while.  It  
up to the consistancy of firm sour cream, or whipped cream cheese.   
It is
delightful as a spread.   I would do it without the rosewater for a more
savory spread.  There are several recipies for this in Digby, Plat, and
Guter Spice.  They are called Almond Cheese and Almond Butter, both  
pretty much describe the same product.  It makes a nice alternative to
dairy for Lent (or for those of us doing with less dairy).

Mistress Christianna MacGrain
Date: Sun, 29 Aug 1999 23:45:00 -0400
From: Christine A Seelye-King <mermayde at juno.com>
Subject: Re: SC - uses for leftover almond crumbs?

 > You mentioned leftover walnuts and it made me think of the leftover
  almond crumbs left from making almond milk. I'm thinking of the stuff
that  is strained out of the almond milk solution after your mix the
ground  almonds in the water or broth. The liquid becomes the almond
milk, but what  do most folks do with the almond crumbs or mash? I think
there are some  period recipes that use this mash. Can this be used for
marchepane? Seems a waste  to throw this out, especially for a large
  Lord Stefan li Rous

Having just recently made almond milk from scratch, I am here to tell  
that the only thing I left in that batch of ground almonds was the
dietary fiber.  I milked them 'til they screamed.  There was absolutely
no flavor left in it when we were done, after about 5 runs.  One of the
ladies in the household took it home and was going to use it as
scrubby/pumice in homemade soap.
It was great almond milk, though, as well as almond cheese (the oils and
the solids from the almonds help it congeal.)
There are several more messages on this in this file from  
Christianna. then there is this message:
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 18:09:53 -0500
From: "PhilTroy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius.magister at  
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Almond milk question
To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Also sprach AEllin Olafs dotter:
 > So I'm finally trying this. Working with a recipe that blithely
 > tells me to take my good almond milk...
 > Do I strain it first? I'm then going to be thickening it, and
 > draining it, and using eveything left in the cloth... but I'm not
 > sure if "everything" includes the suspended solids or not. I do know
 > I should blanch the almonds first, so I don't have any peel, which
 > suggests I don't strain? I was originally assuming that to get milk,
 > I would - but now I'm not sure.
 > AEllin

Period people used a fairly large amount of almonds to get a smallish
amount of milk. They were known to re-use almond draff to get more
than one batch of milk, just as brewers did to make different grades
of ale. n general, though, almond milk was strained. The reason some
modern recipes don't always recommend this is that they assume you're
using a blenderrather than a mortar, and that any solids in your milk
will be so finely ground as to be indistinguishable frm the little
curds you get when you cook the milk.

_Could_ be true! ;-) (Dat's da ticket!)

In any case, the theory behind almond milk is that some of the
thickness comes from emulsified almond oil. some, perhaps, from
gelatinized starches, but (again, i theory), almost none of it comes
from almond solids. In practice this may not be completely true.

In theory, if you're using one of the neato fifteenth-century (I
think I remember that was where they come from) English recipes for
almond cheese and/or butter, you strain the milk. You blanch and peel
the almonds first not so much to prevent coloring the stuff, but also
to keep unpleasant tannin flavors from getting into your milk. For
some savory applications (maybe mirrauste or Le Menagier's
tile-coloreddish) this is less of an issue, but I'm thinking you
strain the milk, which will, we hope, still be fairly thick when
you're done, if you did it right and used the right proportion of
almonds to water, said your prayers, etc.

You then bring it to a boil nd, depending on your recipe, curdle it
like cheese with an acid, or simply boil it until the emulsion starts
to break, the proteins start to coagulate somewhat, and it all
becomes somewhat reduced, and you end up with what looks like
significantly thickened almond milk. (I think the recipe you're
talking about is the one that calls for boiling with no vinegar or
other coagulant added; the one which, when sweetened, would make a
great filling for cannole?)

Anyway, you boil your strained milk until it's thick, being careful
not to let it burn (it thickens a bit faster than you might expect,
and if you stir it frequently, it shouldn't burn). As it cools it'll
thicken further. Pour this creamy stuff onto a suitable cloth, like a
tea towel, which will absorb some excess liquid, without being nappy
enough to get almond crud stuck in its fibers. You should be able to
gather up the corners and let it hang up and drip, but it also
shouldn't really be necessary unless you want it really solid. If you
spread it fairl thinly on a large enough towel (and I suppose only
experience will really settle these questions), it should become the
consistency of a thick custard or ricotta fairly quickly. I believe
the recipe says to sweeten the stuff.

As I say, it would be real good in cannole or perhaps in little
tartlets (think in terms of an early frangipane cream).

 From the nuts-msg file:
I think my recipes came from Huswife's Jewel (Dawson? I'm going on  
memory, aided by 2 two-year olds). They are self-explanatory, so I'll  
you to look them up, at least until my nephew goes home and I can  
type in peace.
At any rate, Almond Cheese is merely thicker almond butter. The  
recipe I am
thinking of is Almond butter "After the Latest Fashion" or some such  
(newest and best fahsion??), which won me an Ice Dragon Category when
combined with the preserved oranges and some flaky pastry from the same
book. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong about the title of the recipe.

Anyhooo, it's a process whereby you pound the almonds, seive them  
the water, grind/pound 'em again, etc, until you get quite a  
of "Almond Milk. This is heated till the bits swell and make a thickened
mixture, which is then strained through cheesecloth to make a more solid
mass. Viola, smooth creamy almond butter. Drain more water, and it  
would be
cheese. It keeps well, but weeps.


From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at postoffice.ptd.net>
Date: Mon, 16 Jun 1997 11:06:44 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: SC - Almond Butter

To Make Almond Butter

Take Almondes and blanch them, and beate them in a morter verye small  
and in
the beating put in a little water, and when they be beaten, poure in  
into two pots, and put in halfe into one and halfe into another, and  
put in
suger, and stirre them still, and let them boyle a good while, then  
it through a strainer with rose water and so dish it up.

**I believe the two pots were meant to be colored differently, then  


To make Almond butter after the best and newest fashion.

take a pound of Almondes or more, and blanch themin cold water or in  
water as you may have leysure, after the blanching let themlye one  
houre in
cold water, then stamp them inm faire cold water as fine as you can,  
put your Almondes in a cloth, and gather your cloth round up in your  
and press out the iuice as much as you can, if you thinke they be not  
enough, beate them again, and so get out milke as long as you can,  
then set
it ove the fire, and when it is ready to seeth, put in a good  
quantitie of
salte, and Rosewater that will turne it, after that is in, let it  
have one
boyling, and then take it from the fire, and cast it abroad upon a  
cloth, and underneath the Cloth scrape of the Whay so long as it will  
then put the butter togetherinto the midest of the cloth, binding the  
together, and let it hang so long as it will drop, then take peeces of
Suger, and so much fine pouder of Saffron as you think will colour  
it, then
let both your suger and saffron steep together in the quantitye of
Rosewater, and with that season up your butter when you will make it.

**I believe the bit about rosewater and saffron should be inserted  
into the
bit about using "Rosewater to Turn it" if the directions are to be  
listed in
correct order.  Strictly speaking, since this is not a milk product, it
cannot be 'turned' by the addition of a clotting agent. So although the
flavor would be different, it is perfectly possible to omit the  
and still have a wonderful end result. This additon, however, would  
give you
your butter color, along with the saffron. Scraping the cloth is  
advice, so that the butter will drain well without 'clogging' the  
holes in
the cloth. My personal experience tells me to call this more of a Cheese
rather than a Butter.

Have fun.

Also using a similar process but adding a sweetener, you get the  
stuff described in this file in the FOOD-SWEETS section:
almond-cream-msg  (28K)  2/ 7/08    A sweet custard filling used in  

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas           
StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

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