Updated: Mar 16
Continuing down my "what can I do with a gallon of milk series" 🙂. The other night I ran out of cottage cheese, so tonight’s project 🤣 (I should say ONE of my projects) making cottage cheese. It's so simple and best of all there is not the added filler ingredients, and you save money. There is a way to do it that you would use vinegar, instead of rennet, but this yields more of a soft cheese called farmer's cheese. Your curds aren't as firm or large, but it works and tastes very well.
What do you need? In this process you need milk, pot, thermometer, something to drain with...rennet, heavy cream, salt and sour cream. There are a lot of different recipes and just gear it to your tastes.
Here is what I did:
Heat your milk slowly to 80 degrees and turn off heat. Lightly stir in rennet using an up and down motion. Rennet is used in making cheese and I think most health food stores would carry it. If not, you can order online. I like the liquid over the other option, using a tablet. On the rennet instructions, it should say for that particular brand the number of drops needed for the amount of milk you're using. Gently stir the rennet into just a small amount of water first to dilute, then add the water mixture to the milk and very lightly and gently stir into the milk. (if you were using vinegar instead you would just put some in the milk here) Let sit for a couple hours. Do not stir it during this resting time!
After a couple hours your milk should resemble yogurt with a firm top. Gently stir thru it with a whisk and slowly start to bring temperature up to 110-115 degrees. Immediately drain into a cheese cloth or cloth that would drain well. An old, but clean t-shirt works. Just boil it first to get out any residual detergents.
If using cheese cloth, gather the corners and tie a string around the top and let it hang for about 30 minutes to drain. It will look like a firm ball of cheese when you empty it from the cloth. Put this into a bowl and gently break the curds apart to the desired size. In a separate bowl add 3 tablespoons of sour cream, 3 tablespoons heavy cream and salt to taste. ( I used about 1 teaspoon). Premix these then add into curds and gently, but thoroughly mix. Adjust to taste and consistency. You have just made cottage cheese!
Don't throw out your whey, we will do something else with that.
Soooo yummy!!! There are so many things that we don't know how wonderful they are meant to taste because all we have ever had was store bought.