Small Batch

Homemade Goat Cheese

By • December 14, 2012 • 18 Comments

Every week, a DIY expert spares us a trip to the grocery store and shows us how to make small batches of great foods at home.

In today's Small Batch, Tasia Malakasis of Belle Chevre shares her recipe for homemade goat cheese.

Cheese. It's one of those ingredients we imagine as 'nuclear': as a base ingredient that comes from who-knows-where for use in other recipes. However, much like pasta, cheese is a food that you can make at home, one that you should make at home. Fresh chevre is one of the easiest cheeses to craft in your kitchen. It's mostly a matter of heating goat's milk, allowing the curds and whey to separate, and draining for a few hours. The best batches are always those you hang and forget about for half the day; with time, the cheese gets denser, more flavorful, and more like the award-winning chevre we make at our creamery.

It may seem contradictory for a cheesemaker to encourage her friends to make their own cheese. But as you'll find, it is both fun and satisfying. And incredibly simple. You can make it in the time it takes you to brew a pot of coffee.  I promise that after you try your hand at it, you'll wonder what you were waiting for. Not only is goat cheese the healthiest (we like to say sexiest, skinniest, and smartest) cheese, lower in fat and calories and higher in vitamins than cow's milk cheeses, it's also the most versatile. In my new cookbook, Tasia's Table, I have recipes for everything from goat cheese salad dressing to chevre cheesecake -- it's like the little black dress of cheeses.

My recipe includes citric acid, which is what we include with Belle Chevre's new DIY Make Your Own Goat Cheese Boxes. However, if you are without this ingredient at home, you can also use the juice of one lemon. So what are you waiting for? Get to cheese-making, and have fun!

Homemade Goat Cheese

Makes one log

1 gallon goat milk
2 rounded teaspoons of citric acid
2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
Cheesecloth or cotton kitchen towel

Mix the citric acid with 1/2 cup of water. In a heavy-bottomed, non-reactive pot, combine the goat milk and citric acid to 185 degrees over medium heat, stirring continuously. Once it reaches this temperature, turn off the heat and allow to sit for 15 minutes. 

Lay out your cheese towel in a bowl. Pour in the milk mixture. The curds simply resemble curdled milk at this point. Tie the ends of the towel together so it becomes a bag. Hang it on a wooden spoon and let the bag hang free. The whey should strain for at least two hours,  but for best results you can leave closer to 6 hours. This makes forming a log easier and results in a denser cheese. Before taking the cheese out of the cloth, squeeze the cloth to extract more liquid from the cheese. 

Transfer the cheese from the cloth to a bowl and season it with cheese salt to taste. You can garnish with fresh herbs, peppercorns, or form a traditional log.  To shape into a log, simply place on a clean smooth surface and begin to roll out gently, like a Play-Doh snake.

 

Tags: how-to & diy

Comments (18)

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over 1 year ago Tasia Malakasis

T.E. thanks for your comments! If you'd like your cheese less creamy, just let it hang for a longer period of time. Sometimes I leave mine hanging at home for the whole day!

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over 1 year ago T. E. Robinson

I just made this recipe and halved it. My cheese came out very creamy. I just rolled it and put it in the refrigerator. What I did taste was mildly tangy and will take herbs and spices well. My milk was Ultra Pasturized. I read the posts after I made my cheese so I wonder if it would have a different consistency had the milk simply been pasturized. I'll check it out tomorrow.

Also, Whole Foods sells the citric acid in the vitamin section. I went to Whole Foods and Sprouts and was not able to find a gallon of goats milk only quarts and 1/2 gallons. I used 1 quart of whole milk and 1 quart of low fat.

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over 1 year ago Kate's Kitchen

I have made goat cheese using the kit a couple of times. It was not as tangy as I like it but rather a mild creamy cheese that takes well to adding some extra ingredients such as smoked sundried tomatoes and more of the salt (it's just kosher salt)than called for. After emailing the company they suggested I try to find Pasturized goat's milk vs. the Ultra-pasturized that is found in grocery stores. I have yet to find some of the Pasturized but plan to keep looking.

Stringio

over 1 year ago Claire Elizabeth Tran

Sorry for below comment, it showed up twice for some reason, and not sure how to delete, my apologies!

Stringio

over 1 year ago Claire Elizabeth Tran

Having the same issue, did you ever have any luck?

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over 1 year ago duckfat

Not yet!

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over 1 year ago duckfat

Any directions on aging the chevre?

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over 1 year ago Esther Heimberg

copied this off the web:
almost all commercial dairies now pasteurize at temps so high that the proteins are completely denatured and will not coagulate into anything except rice sized grains. Smiths pasteurizes at 170 deg. Dairyman's at 180. Useless for cheesemaking. In Ohio Hartzler Farms Dairy in Wooster pasteurizes at 140 deg for 30 mins. Makes beautiful cheese. I googled Ohio Dairies and just started making phone calls. Or Contact your local chapter of Weston A Price Foundation and find a local source of raw milk, if it is legal in your state. westonaprice.org

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over 1 year ago emily6532n

Help! I followed the directions exactly (using a lemon instead of powdered citric acid) and my milk didn't curdle at all after the 15 minute wait. Is there a way to salvage my hot, non curdled milk and still make the cheese? What did I do wrong?

Stringio

over 1 year ago Claire Elizabeth Tran

Having the same issue, did you ever have any luck?

Zora_margolis

over 1 year ago zindc

I'm puzzled by this recipe for queso fresco made with goat milk, which you call chevre. I make chevre using a bacterial culture/rennet powder that I buy from New England Cheesemaking Co. The milk is warmed and cultured for 12 hours like yogurt, after that the curd is drained for six hours, then mixed with salt. I believe that this method makes the traditional, tangy cheese that most people are familiar with when they think of chevre. I often mix mine with fennel pollen and lavender powder.

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over 1 year ago Esther Heimberg

FYI another common name for citric acid is Sour Salt, it sells during canning season and for some reason Lieber's produces it during Passover (I buy mine after the holiday when it is on clearance- just in time for summer canning).

Can I use my plastic yogurt cheese strainer instead of a towel? Would there be a significant difference?

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over 1 year ago photolady

My store sells goat milk by small cans.How do I find someone that would sell a gallon? And what is cheese salt????

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over 1 year ago Kate's Kitchen

Kosher salt is what they call cheese salt.

Chicken_brunswick_stew_002

over 1 year ago Jenn@Slim-Shoppin

Love it! I am going to make this for my sister and Mom for Christmas. Can you buy goats milk at Whole Foods? Where do you buy it?

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over 1 year ago douglasalan

citrus acid u mean like lemon juice? or no?
advise
Thanks/douglasalan

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over 1 year ago HuricaneLane

I believe they mean citric acid in powder form.

Open-uri.649

over 1 year ago Das_Muller

"My recipe includes citric acid, which is what we include with Belle Chevre's new DIY Make Your Own Goat Cheese Boxes. However, if you are without this ingredient at home, you can also use the juice of one lemon."