This is a standard recipe from a number of sources. I took the cheese making course from the Institute of Domestic Technology, which was a great confidence booster. Photo by Ann Cutting.
Makes ½ lb. (or you can double for 1 lb.)
- 2 quarts Goat’s milk (I like Summerland as it has a fresh, delicate taste.)
- 1/8 cup whole, plain kefir
- 1/16 tablet rennet*
- ½ Tbs. salt
- Warm milk in a large pot to 85-90 degrees stirring occasionally to prevent scorching on the bottom of the pot.
- Add kefir, stirring to incorporate thoroughly.
- Dissolve rennet in a small amount of non-chlorinated water and add to the milk stirring first in a circular motion, then from the bottom to the top of the pot to incorporate thoroughly into the milk. If you add more rennet than indicated, the cheese will “toughen up” and will lose the soft texture of chèvre.
- Cover pot and allow to ferment at room temperature, undisturbed for 12 hours.
- Place a colander inside a large bowl. Dampen a piece of butter muslin and line the colander with it.
- Gently ladle the curds into the lined colander allowing the whey to drain into the bowl.
- Drain for up to 12 hours, covered at room temperature in the colander. (Make sure that the ends of the muslin cloth are not in the whey. Keep an eye on the whey making sure it does not rise up to the level of the curds. Drain the whey if necessary.
- If you shorten the draining time, you will have different versions of the cheese, yogurt-like after a couple of hours or spreadable after about six.
- Remove drained curds from the butter muslin and gently stir in the salt making sure to incorporate it well.
- Chèvre will last 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
*Rennet is a complex of enzymes that help digest milk. It is used in cheese making as if separates the solid (curds) from the whey (liquid.) There is a vegetarian version of rennet as well. I use Walcoren, which can be purchased online.