Small Batch: Homemade Goat Cheese

December 14, 2012

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.

Today, Tasia Malakasis of Belle Chevre shares her recipe for homemade goat cheese.

- Tasia

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.

Save and print this recipe at Food52.

Like this post? See last week's Small Batch topic: Making Quince Membrillo.

Photos by Stephanie Schamban

2 Comments Add a Comment
  • Img_7595

    Michael Martin is the cooking coach at the Whole Foods Market in Franklin, Tennessee.

    citizenkitchen says: Great article. Should the 2-6 hour draining process take place on the kitchen counter or under refrigeration. And any tips on the best method of storage? Wrap in plastic wrap, marinate in oil, roll in wax paper? How long will this goat cheese keep in the fridge? Thanks for your answers in advance!

    about 1 year ago Reply to this »
  • Maddy-macau-robuchon

    Maddy is the senior editor of Whole Foods Market Cooking.

    Maddy, Editor says: Hi Michael, Tasia will be answering questions related to this recipe on the main recipe page on Food52: http://www.food52.com/recipes/20092_homemade_goat_cheese

    about 1 year ago

You can post comments here after you log in.