Simple Homemade Chèvre

Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditEmail to someone

Simple Homemade Chèvre

With a small herd of Nigerian Dwarf goats, my family will never be free from purchasing fluid milk. But we didn’t get these little girls for the milk. Nope. We bought them for their butterfat. Nigerians are cheese goats.

We’re still in early days, and right now we only have one milking doe, and she’s a first freshener. Our once-daily milkings produce a whopping cup of milk a day. Sometimes more, sometimes less. So, I hoard milk in the freezer and make my cheese and cajeta once quart at a time.

Chèvre is the easiest cheese in the world to make, and it’s very forgiving. Perfect for a novice. Add fresh cracked pepper and an herb garnish, and impress your friends.

Starting Chèvre

Chèvre is the easiest cheese in the world to make, and it’s very forgiving. Perfect for a novice. To begin, I bought a 5-packet starter culture from everyone’s favorite, New England Cheesemaking Supply Co. This is also where I got my little basket mold and butter muslin for draining, but you could improvise these materials with a colander and a clean cotton pillowcase.

One packet sets a gallon of milk, so I use about 1/16th of a tsp of powder for a quart of milk, and mark it off on the packet itself so I know when to buy more. You can store the culture in the freezer for up to two years.

Chèvre is the easiest cheese in the world to make, and it’s very forgiving. Perfect for a novice. Add fresh cracked pepper and an herb garnish, and impress your friends.

Image courtesy of Paring Down, Looking Up.

To start, pour your milk into a stainless steel pot and heat up to around 80°F. The packet recommends 86°F, but again, this is a forgiving process and we’re just aiming for room temp. Our milk is raw, so I don’t want to cook out any of the goodness. If you are lucky enough to be using fresh milk straight from the goat, you’ll need to let it cool to the correct temperature.

You may also enjoy  Yummy Peanut Butter Cups

Next, sprinkle your powdered starter over the milk and let it sit for two minutes to rehydrate. Then you’ll stir the culture throughout the milk. I use a whisk for this, but not the actual “whisking” motion. Now put a lid on the pan…and wait. Time is the biggest ingredient when making fresh cheese.

Creating Curds & Whey

If you start the cheese in the morning, let it sit in the pot undisturbed until the next morning. Personally I do this bit at night and spend my wait time sleeping. (And by “sleeping” I mean getting up at least 3 times with either or both of my kids, with short little naps in between.)

And back to cheese!

After 12 (or even 24) hours, you should see a snow-colored solid mass of curds when you tilt the pan and pour off the yellow whey. Our cats and chickens LOVE cheese days, as they get the castoffs.

Chèvre is the easiest cheese in the world to make, and it’s very forgiving. Perfect for a novice. Add fresh cracked pepper and an herb garnish, and impress your friends.

Image courtesy of Paring Down, Looking Up.

Scoop the lovely curds into a muslin-lined plastic cheese mold to drain. I let my cheese drain about 6 hours. I prefer a wetter chèvre, but if you want a thicker, dryer cheese, let it drain longer.

Chèvre is the easiest cheese in the world to make, and it’s very forgiving. Perfect for a novice. Add fresh cracked pepper and an herb garnish, and impress your friends.

Image courtesy of Paring Down, Looking Up.

TIP: No matter what you read anywhere else, don’t start this process in the morning and then drain the cheese overnight. It is too long, you won’t be there to check on it, and that is how you end up feeding rubbery cheese to your cats. Ask me how I know. The initial 12-hr “waiting in the pot” process can be stretched out to 24 hours without any issues.

You may also enjoy  A Homesteader's Kitchen Essentials

Seasoning Your Chèvre

Once your cheese has reached your preferred consistency, put it into a bowl for seasoning. I usually use a serving fork to blend my chèvre with Kosher salt to taste, but this is a guest blog and I wanted to feel fancy, so I added some fresh chopped thyme.

Chèvre is the easiest cheese in the world to make, and it’s very forgiving. Perfect for a novice. Add fresh cracked pepper and an herb garnish, and impress your friends.

Image courtesy of Paring Down, Looking Up.

Once the cheese is seasoned, you can roll it into a log using plastic wrap and refrigerate, or you can use my ghetto method (there goes fancy), and smash it into a small plastic storage container. Hit it against the counter a few times to release any air bubbles, and then put the lid on and refrigerate for a an hour or two.

Then, voila! Un-mold on top of a cheese plate, add fresh cracked pepper and an herb garnish, and impress your friends.

Chèvre is the easiest cheese in the world to make, and it’s very forgiving. Perfect for a novice. Add fresh cracked pepper and an herb garnish, and impress your friends.

Image courtesy of Paring Down, Looking Up.

Or, curl up with this pretty plate of delights and eat it all yourself. It’s that good. If you don’t finish it in one go, it keeps for a week in the fridge.

Happy cheese making!

Chèvre is the easiest cheese in the world to make, and it’s very forgiving. Perfect for a novice. Add fresh cracked pepper and an herb garnish, and impress your friends.

Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditEmail to someone
The following two tabs change content below.
Danielle is the author of Pare Down, Look Up. She lives on 5 acres in central Colorado with her husband, two boys, two dogs, two cats, five goats, twelve chickens, thousands of bees and a whole lot of deer and wild rabbits who consider the Pare Down garden to be their private farmer’s market.

Latest posts by Danielle Bryan (see all)


Comments

Simple Homemade Chèvre — 4 Comments

  1. This might be a silly question, but can you use store bought milk to make cheese? I am really interested in trying, but do not have access to any raw milk. 🙁

    • Not a silly question at all. You can, but the quality isn’t the same. Homogenization doesn’t affect the cheese-making process, though it may make softer curds. Pasteurization can affect the outcome, but you should be fine as long as it isn’t ultra-pasteurized.

  2. Hello! You have no idea how encouraging it was to read this. I have two does, both first fresheners. One of the does lost her baby so we’re milking her twice a day and getting close to a pint of milk. I thought that was on the low end, but I guess it’s all good! The other doe just had her first kid 2 days ago, so we’re giving them some time before we start milking her. Great recipe!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.