Cheese craft: how to make Pangaea’s creamy chèvre at home
“I got bored of making charcuterie, so I started doing my own cheese. I’ve got 30 kinds on the go, and I tend to them seven days a week. I’m a little obsessed right now. If you have the right cultures—I order mine from Glengarry Cheesemaking in Lancaster—making fresh chèvre is simple, and the recipe is very forgiving. The only tough part is waiting three days while the chèvre does its thing. We’re not very patient in the modern world, but I find it soothing to wait for my cheese.” —chef de cuisine Derek Bendig
8 cups full-fat goat’s milk (available at the Big Carrot, Fiesta Farms Market and most health food stores)
¹⁄₈ tsp freeze-dried mesophilic aromatic-B culture*
¼ tsp liquid calcium chloride*
¹⁄₈ tsp liquid rennet*
¼ cup distilled water
2 tsp coarse kosher or sea salt
Finely chopped chives and parsley (optional)
*Available at Glengarry Cheesemaking in Lancaster, Ontario, glengarrycheesemaking.on.ca. Delivery takes about three days.
1. Wash and thoroughly sterilize a 12-cup stainless steel pot with lid, a meat thermometer, measuring spoons, a skimmer or slotted spoon, 2 small bowls and 4 cheese moulds* (4 inches tall and 3 inches in diameter).
2. Pour milk into the pot and heat over medium heat until the thermometer reads 30° C.
3. Remove pot from heat. Sprinkle mesophilic culture over surface of milk and let stand 5 minutes. Stir milk gently with skimmer to distribute culture evenly.
4. In a small bowl, mix calcium chloride with 2 tbsp distilled water. Add mixture to milk and stir gently to distribute evenly.
5. In another small bowl, stir remaining distilled water and rennet. Add to milk and stir gently.
6. Cover pot and let stand at room temperature (no warmer than 22° C) for 18 hours until milk has separated into thick, yogurt-like curds and clear whey.
7. Set a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Set moulds on rack. Using skimmer, gently scoop a thin layer of curd from surface of thickened milk, leaving whey behind, and slide it into a cheese mould. Continue to scoop off and layer the curd until the mould is full. Repeat with remaining moulds.
8. Set aside at room temperature (again no warmer than 22°C) for 24 hours. Whey will gather in the baking sheet. Pour it off as necessary.
9. Unmould cheeses and sprinkle with salt. Let them dry uncovered for another 24 hours at room temperature until firm.
10. Roll the cheese logs in chives and parsley to coat evenly, or leave plain. Wrap in parchment paper, then plastic wrap and store in fridge for up to 2 weeks. Makes 4 three-ounce rounds.
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