I make chevre on a weekly basis—it is one of the easiest tasks I have, and it gives us (and my customers) a steady supply of a versatile cheese. This recipe is shared with us courtesy of Ricki Carrol from her book Home Cheese Making (Storey, 2002).
Yield: About 1 pound
Ingredients & Additional Materials
- Large (8 quart or larger) nonreactive stockpot (stainless steel or enameled)
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Slotted spoon
- Long-handled wooden or plastic utensil for stirring milk
- Thermometer that registers from 40 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit (boiling)
- 1 gallon whole milk (goat’s milk is best, but cow’s milk is fine)
- 1 packet chevre starter
- Colander or fine strainer
- Optional: Cheese mold with drainage holes
In a large kettle, heat the milk to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn off the heat and add the starter, stirring gently until it is well incorporated. Move the kettle to a back burner and let it sit, covered, for twenty-four hours. Uncover the kettle. You’ll see a solid white mass in the midst of milky-looking water because the milk has separated into curds (the solid proteins) and whey (the liquid remaining after the curds coagulate). Pour the contents of the pan into a fine strainer or colander (or a cheese mold with holes), making sure that all of the solid curds end up in the colander/strainer or mold.
Optional: Scoop the curds first into a large bowl and mix them with herbs and seasonings, and then pour them into the colander/strainer or mold for draining and shaping. Pour any last bits of curd or whey out over the curds, letting the whey strain through. Let the curds sit in the colander/strainer or cheese mold until well drained, from 12 to 24 hours. Longer draining time will yield a drier result.
Note: If you drain the cheese in a cylindrical cheese mold, it will form a tub shape; when the cheese is fully drained, you can roll it in flavorings such as crushed dried herbs, coarse ground pepper, or sesame seeds.
Store the finished chevre cheese in a covered container in the refrigerator; eat it within a week.