Holiday time at my husband's and my house means homemade pierogi. I grew up eating potato pierogi and he had cheese. Normally we would buy Friendship brand farmers cheese, which runs about $8.99 a pound, but this year we couldn't find it anywhere. Solution- make our own. We made mozzarella as a cocktails and crafts last winter and I remembered that the beginning of the process created farmers cheese.
To make your own you need four things:
- One gallon of raw or pasteurized milk - not ultra pasteurized
- Citric acid - I used powdered I had from making mozzarella but you could use a lemon or even vinegar
- Something to strain the cheese. I started out with a cheese cloth but then switched to two strainers with small holes.
Sorry the pictures aren't that great, I was using my iPhone cause I was too lazy to get my good camera from across the room.
Put milk in a large pot.
When the milk begins to boil (small bubbles will first appear at the edges), turn off the heat. Stir acid into the milk, and the milk will curdle. You may need to wait 5 or 10 minutes.
Line a sieve or colander with a cheesecloth, and pour the milk through the cloth to catch the curds. What is left in the cheesecloth is the Farmer's Cheese. The liquid is the whey.
Wrap in plastic, or place in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator.
Different brands of milk will create different results. One store brand created worked perfectly with only one teaspoon of citric acid, the next needed three. Making your own cuts the price into less than half and gives you the satisfaction of saying you made cheese.
To get a printable version of this recipe click here.