Before we go any further, yes this is a recipe for homemade goat cheese and yes you can absolutely make it yourself. Making cheese has long been on my list of kitchen projects to try. It’s not something I would have attempted in the early years of this blog because I probably would’ve been too nervous to waste ingredients if it didn’t work, and I likely would’ve assumed it would be way too difficult. I would have been wrong, obviously, which is why I’m telling you this. I don’t want you to be under the same (false) impression I was.
I got the book One Hour Cheese recently, and I wanted to immediately try every single recipe. Since goat cheese is a favorite of ours, that was the first recipe I chose. It doesn’t use any special ingredients – just cream, goat’s milk, and vinegar. Once everything is heated on the stovetop, the curds drain for a few minutes and then are cooled and rolled into a log. It’s much simpler than I could’ve ever imagined, and the result is nothing short of fantastic.
Creamy and rich, this goat cheese is good enough to spread on everything. It’s milder than other goat cheeses I’ve had, thanks to the heavy cream. I like the tanginess of goat cheese, and while this one didn’t have quite as much as I’m used to, it was still insanely delicious. We paired it with some cherry butter that we canned last summer, and I think it would go equally well with honey.
- YIELD: 2 logs of goat cheese
½ gallon goat’s milk
1 cup heavy cream
4-6 sprigs fresh herbs, washed and patted dry
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoons salt, or to taste
Freshly cracked pepper, herbs, nuts, etc. for rolling, optional
For this recipe, you will need 90 grade cheesecloth, also known as butter muslin, which is finer than what’s typically found in grocery stores. I couldn’t find it locally, so I ordered this one from Amazon. It can be washed and reused and should last us a long time.
I chose to roll one log in freshly cracked pepper because I love pepper. I think roasted pistachios or an herb mixture would also be delicious if you’re looking for other ways to coat the logs.
Place the milk and cream in a 3-quart stockpot. Add the herbs and turn the heat to medium. Monitor the heat, stirring every few minutes to prevent a skin from forming. If you feel any milk sticking to the bottom of the pot, reduce the heat.
Once steam and small bubbles form, begin checking the temperature with a thermometer. Just before the mixture reaches 185ºF, remove the herbs with a slotted spoon or skimmer and discard.
When the milk reaches 185º, add the vinegar and stir thoroughly with seven quick strokes.
Reduce heat to low. Gently stir every few seconds for 2 minutes, taking care to stir lightly so as not to break up any curds. After about a minute, you should see curds forming. If you don’t, continue heating for up to 2 minutes longer.
Remove the pot from the heat and allow to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes. While the curds are resting, line a colander with cheesecloth and place over a bowl.
After 10 minutes, there should be an increase in curd formation. Pour the curds and whey through the cheesecloth lined colander. Allow to drain for about 10 minutes, or until they reach the creamy texture of smooth mashed potatoes.
Add salt and stir thoroughly.
Wrap the curds in the cheesecloth and freeze for 10-15 minutes or refrigerate for about 2 hours in order to make the logs easier to form. Once cool, remove and stir and knead gently to create a smooth consistency.
To roll into a log, spoon about half the curds evenly across the short side of a large piece of parchment. Roll tightly, and then roll and squeeze, applying even pressure, to form the log. Unroll the paper and smooth any gaps. Roll in your choice of toppings or leave plain.
Alternately, you can leave this cheese as a spread or use a cookie scoop to shape it into small balls.