Irish Farmer Cheese

28 Jun 2011

That is my mother in law’s butter knife….isn’t it darling? She is originally from Cork and has various sets of  beautiful and very old Cork cutlery at the farm.

So, this week I learned how to make cheese! I have been wanted to attempt this for quite some time and it just so happened that right before my butter demo at Totally Tipperary, a lovely woman was teaching the crowd how to make easy ricotta and paneer cheeses. I cannot believe how simple the process is and how delicious the cheese tastes…so fresh and delicate.

With a dairy full of milk at our fingertips at all times, there is no reason why I shouldn’t make this “farmer cheese” on a regular basis to have on hand in the fridge. I paired the cheese with some salty capers and a few moon-blushed cherry tomatoes tossed in olive oil, garlic & thyme and it was the perfect lunch!

All you’ll need is milk, lemons, sea salt and a large square of cheesecloth or muslin

Place the milk and salt into a saucepan over medium heat until it starts to froth.

Then, spoon in your lemon juice a little at a time until the milk begins to curdle like this

Pour into a cheesecloth-lined sieve

Squeeze out all of the excess whey, tie the cloth around a wooden spoon, and leave to hang for a further 15-20 mins

After the cheese is fully strained, you can either eat it straight away

or you can flatten & shape it by placing a heavy pan on top for an hour.

Then, just break it apart and enjoy!

Irish Farmhouse Cheese

Makes 8-10 Ounces

1/2 Gallon/ 2 litres Full Fat Milk

Juice of 3 lemons (1/2 cup) or you can use 1tbsp White wine vinegar

A few pinches of sea salt finely ground

Heat milk and salt over medium heat until frothy

Add in lemon or vinegar a little at a time until milk is completely curdled (if the milk is not curdling, you’ll need more of your acid-lemon or vinegar..add in a little at a time until curdled)

Pour into cloth-lined sieve to strain

Squeeze excess whey through cloth

Tie up and let hang for further 15-20 minutes

Flatten and shape or just dig in!

Slan Abhaile,

Imen

Photos and Styling by Imen McDonnell

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