We would have been gearing up for the last days of lock down if it didn’t get extended to the end of the month. A month ago seems like a lifetime away. Last month, I was in San Juan, Batangas, savoring the summer breeze and enjoying an unobstructed view of the night sky.
Today, I woke up not aware of what day it is anymore. But I was excited for breakfast because I made cheese last night. Yup, that’s what we do now. We take soured milk, heat it in a pan, and turn it into cheese.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had friends message me, asking for recipes for brownies, banana bread, cookies, bread, and more. I’ve enjoyed walking them through the process, seeing the finished product, and troubleshooting anything that doesn’t go exactly as planned.
In our kitchen, I’ve been trying out new recipes: pandesal, spanish bread, flour tortillas. Yesterday, I drank sour milk in my coffee and didn’t even realize it. I thought, hmm, what’s that strange taste? Maybe it’s the instant coffee? I whipped some up, trying another whisking technique. So when I eventually figured out that my milk was about to go bad (all 1.5L of it, huhu!), I panicked. I can’t throw it all away. After an hour or so of Googling, I found a recipe that seemed easy enough to follow.
Homemade Crumbly Cheese
For anyone who has milk that's about to go bad
- 6 cups milk
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
In a sauce pan, heat milk slowly until it reaches 200ºF. Make sure it doesn't boil.
Once you reach the temp, take off heat. Pour in salt, vinegar, and lemon juice. Stir until combined and let the mixture stand.
The milk should start to curdle at this point. You'll see the curd separate from the whey, a yellowish liquid. Leave it for about 10 minutes.
Scoop out any big curds with a slotted spoon and transfer to a fine-meshed sieve covered with a cheese cloth. Full disclosure: I used a piece of leftover curtain for mine, haha.
Depending on how you want the cheese, drain until your desired consistency. I drained mine for about half an hour and ended up with crumbly cheese similar to feta.
Transfer to a jar. I put some truffle oil in mine and refrigerated overnight. You can probably add herbs here if you want to.
Keep the leftover whey in a bottle and use for future baking.
On my first try, I didn’t let it reach 200°F because I was afraid it would burn. So when I put my acid, it didn’t curdle. I brought it back to the stove and heated it up to 200°F and added a few more tablespoons of vinegar. It immediately curdled this time around.
I had some on pandesal I baked yesterday and mixed berry jam from a couple of weeks ago. Will try it with roasted veg when our delivery comes in today! Let me know if you try making your own cheese, too. Or you know, whatever it is you’re cooking these days. Would love to swap recipes.