This ‘cheat’s’ cottage cheese is easy to make and uses no special ingredients, not even rennet. It’s handy if you find yourself with some milk about to turn.
Making Cottage or Curd Cheese
A lot of people are put off the idea of making cheese at home by having to buy special equipment and supplies but this ‘cheat’ cottage or curd cheese is really easy to make and requires no special tools that you won’t find in the ordinary kitchen, nor does it require rennet or any special ingredients.
Cheese has always been a way of storing a surplus of milk for use when the cow or sheep were dry and making your own cheese at home is a great way to store any surplus milk you may find yourself with.
In terms of cost, home made cheese will not save you money but if you find you have a couple of pints about to turn in the fridge or the supermarket has over stocked and reduced some milk, you can store this by making cottage cheese.
This cheese is different to shop-bought cottage cheese both in flavour and process. It’s dryer and more granular in texture and less sweet than many shop bought cottage cheeses. ‘Normal’ cottage cheese requires a culture starter and rennet but this cheese requires nothing beyond what you are likely to have in your kitchen cupboard.
Although cottage, or curd cheese as some people call it, doesn’t store for a long time in the fridge it will freeze easily.
We’ve never found out how long our cottage cheese will keep for because it tends to be eaten quickly. This method produces a different cheese than commercial cottage cheese. It’s firmer and more granular, which we like and you can add different flavourings but we just like salt and black pepper,
All cheeses are made from the coagulated lumps from milk – the curds – with the liquid part called the whey, hence curds and whey. Although a lactic starter can be used when making cottage cheese, it is not necessary, the same chemical reaction of turning the milk, or curdling, can be obtained from the use of vinegar or lemon juice which most people have in their kitchen.
So why not spend half an hour making your own cottage cheese? It tastes better than shop bought and the process is absolutely fascinating.
Recipe for Cottage Cheese
Ingredients for Cottage Cheese:
- 2 pints (1200 ml) semi-skimmed or skimmed milk
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) lemon juice or white vinegar
- Pinch of salt
Equipment to Make Cottage Cheese:
- Saucepan – stainless steel or enamelled (avoid aluminium)
- Wooden Spoon
- Fine Sieve preferably metal
Method for Cottage Cheese:
- Pour the milk into the saucepan.
- Heat on hob until it is very hot, but do not boil, stirring occasionally with the wooden spoon.
- Allow to cool for a couple of minutes.
- Add 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of lemon juice or vinegar.
- Stir and watch the hot milk separate into the curds and whey.
- Allow to cool further.
- Pour the curds and whey through a sieve to catch the curds.
- Reserve the whey to use it instead of water in bread making, or for any recipe calling for sour milk or buttermilk.
- Transfer the curds into a small bowl and add a pinch of salt.
You’ve got cottage cheese!
Optional Extras to your Cottage Cheese:
- Add a tablespoon of double-cream to the curds for a richer consistency.
- Add chopped chives, chopped spring onions, herbs.
- Sprinkle with a little black pepper.
- Whatever takes your fancy!
Problems with Cottage Cheese:
If the milk is not curdling it may be the milk. Only use regular pasteurised or semi-skimmed milk not UHT .
Add a little more acid in the form of lemon juice or vinegar to correct.
Making Cheese Articles & Information
- Cheese Making Basic Guide, Tutorial – Home Made Cheese
- Cheese Making Equipment for Making Cheese at Home
- Milk & Starter Cultures – Ingredients for Making Cheese
- Cheese Making – Ingredients for Making Cheese at Home – Rennet, Salt, Herbs etc
- Making Cheddar Cheese at Home