|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 5g||7%|
|Saturated Fat 3g||16%|
|Total Carbohydrate 6g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
|Total Sugars 6g|
|Vitamin C 5mg||27%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Believe it or not, making goat cheese requires just three ingredients, cheesecloths, some time, and a food thermometer. Far from the more complex curdling, heating, cooling, and aging cheese-making processes, goat's cheese is easy to make and yields a tangy and delicious product that's amazing on salads, pasta, pizza, and cheese spreads, among many other delicious dishes.
Our very simple recipe for homemade goat cheese is done by using acid coagulation. By slowly heating up the milk and adding lemon juice or other acids like vinegar or citric acid to the goat's milk, small soft curdles are formed. Quark and cottage cheese are also made by this process, but in the case of goat's cheese, the curdles are strained to form the cheese. Once the liquid, or whey, is drained away from the curds, you have a basic but tasty version of homemade goat cheese. This cheese can be also made with a starter culture and rennet, but this easy homemade version makes a delicious cheese that has nothing to envy in more elaborate versions—besides being extremely budget friendly compared to buying ready-made goat's cheese.
Before you begin, gather a nonreactive pot and stirring utensils, such as stainless steel, enamel, or ceramic. Don't use aluminum or metal as they will leach into the milk, ruining the process. As for the milk, the fresher the milk, the better the cheese. Try finding organic goat's milk—full fat is best—but steer away from ultra-pasteurized (although pasteurized is fine) as the heating up process and fast cooling of the milk makes the curdling very hard.
4 cups goat milk
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, no pulp or seeds; or white vinegar
Salt, to taste
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Slowly heat the milk in a nonreactive pot on the stove until it reaches 180 F to 185 F. Using a thermometer to check on the temperature is best. Gentle bubbles should be forming, and the surface will look foamy. Turn off the heat once the milk has reached this temperature.
With a long-handled nonreactive utensil, stir in the lemon juice. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. The milk should curdle and become slightly thicker on the surface.
Line a colander with 2 layers of damp cheesecloths. Gently pour the milk into the cheesecloth. Gather the cheesecloth up around the curds and tie it into a bundle. A rubber band or butcher's twine is also a good way to hold the cheesecloth together at the top.
Hang the bundle over a pot or jar so the liquid can drip out. Do this by attaching the bundle to a wooden spoon or a ladle and setting the spoon over the top of the pot.
Untie the bundle and transfer the cheese to a bowl. Stir in salt to taste.
Use your hands to pat and shape the cheese into a small wheel or log. Alternatively, use a cookie cutter as a mold to shape the cheese. The flavor and texture of the cheese will improve if you refrigerate it for a few hours before serving.
Nut-Crusted, Sweet, or Herby Cheese
This plain goat's cheese is an excellent canvas to make flavored versions that you can use on toast, bread, salads, bagels, or anywhere you'd like a chunk of creamy and tangy cheese:
- Herb: Add salt to taste and mix in fresh herbs like tarragon, dill, basil, or parsley. Dry herbs also work great. Spices like chile flakes, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, or any other seasoned salt also make for great flavors.
- Sweet: Stir in a drizzle of honey or maple syrup and add dried Craisins, raisins, or chopped figs. A sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg adds a nice touch.
- Nut or Seeds: Once shaped into a log or ball, coat the outside of the cheese with chopped fresh herbs or chopped toasted nuts. Alternatively, use pepitas or sunflower seeds if you need to keep it allergy friendly.