Goat Cheese Made With Lemon Juice

Homemade goat cheese with lemon juice

The Spruce

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Drain : 90 mins
Total: 115 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
86 Calories
5g Fat
6g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 86
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 13mg 4%
Sodium 61mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 5mg 27%
Calcium 164mg 13%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 259mg 6%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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, amongst 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 non-reactive 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 they use makes the curdling very hard.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups goat's milk

  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, no pulp or seeds; or white vinegar

  • Salt to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for goat cheese
    The Spruce
  2. Slowly heat the milk in a non-reactive 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.

    Slowly heat the milk
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  3. With a long-handled non-reactive utensil, stir in the lemon juice. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. The milk should curdle and become slightly thicker on the surface.

    Stir with spoon
    The Spruce
  4. 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.

    Line a colander with cheese cloth
    The Spruce
  5. 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.

    Hang the bundle over bowl
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  6. Untie the bundle and transfer the cheese to a bowl. Stir in salt to taste.

    Transfer cheese to bowl
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  7. 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.

    Use spoon to shape cheese
    The Spruce
  8. Enjoy!

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 chili 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.