a simple yogurt cheese

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This cheese is often the HIT of the party! (That’s me, tooting my own horn… toot toot!) People can’t believe that I made it, and it’s really the easiest & least time consuming thing to make. When you have a 1-year-old, recipes like this are life-savers! And it never fails to “wow” either.

I can’t take ALL the credit though; it has probably been around for hundreds of years. Although not popular in North America, this cheese well-known in European and Latin-American cultures, often called Fromage Fraîche, Queso Fresco, or Queso Blanco. I originally learnt it at a cheese-making workshop that I went to at Foxglove Farm on beautiful Salt Spring Island, BC. Our teacher was David Rotsztain (did i spell that right?), who is a well-known farmstead cheese-maker in and around the lower mainland of Vancouver, so the credit really goes to him…


 

You will need:
a cheesecloth
boiling water
1 kg Full fat, natural, unflavoured yogurt (no pectin, cornstarch, or gelatine)
1 tsp uniodized salt (such as sea salt, kosher salt, or Fleur de Sel)
and about 36 hours (if your party is on Friday night, start this no later than Thursday morning!)

 


 

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First things first, I like to sterilize my cheesecloth in boiling water. So I just throw it into a stainless steel bowl, pour my boiling water on top, and soak for a few minutes. You don’t have to do this every time, but it only takes a couple of minutes, and the cheesecloth should be damp anyway.

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Then I place my cheesecloth over a bowl, and pour my yogurt into the cheesecloth. I gather the corners together, turn the ball of yogurt to tighten the cloth, and tie it up. No squeezing though! (Sorry about the blurry photo… but this was an action shot!)

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Tie the ball of yogurt to a kitchen utensil, and hang it over a tall pot, bowl, or pitcher for 24 hours, at room temperature {important!}.

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During this step, the cheesecloth ball will start to sag, and the whey will separate from the cheese. (There’s more whey in there than you think, that’s why you need a tall pot/bowl/pitcher.)

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After the 24 hours, open up your cheesecloth, add the salt, mix it all up, and hang again for at least another 5 hours, at room temperature. Your yogurt should be thicker than Greek Yogurt at this point.

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The salt has two purposes: it preserves the cheese, which enables it to last up to 2-3 weeks; and it also helps to extract more of the whey, so you will end up with a “firmer” soft cheese.

Then simply unravel your cheese, and enjoy!

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Mine often finds itself on a cheese platter alongside homemade jam, bread, and fruit. Mmm…..

And a quick note about the cheesecloth: don’t bother with the supermarket brand; the weave is often too loose, so you have to double or triple it up, and it only has a one-time use. A better option is an unbleached cotton muslin cloth, found at your local fabric shop, OR a do-rag. Yup, a do-rag! It has an open weave, a perfect head-shaped pocket, and long straps great for tightening the cheese. And the best part? It’s washable & re-useable! (My sister thought I was starting a gang when I asked her if she could bring me 4 do-rags from the USA. Ha!)

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7 thoughts on “a simple yogurt cheese

  1. This is fantastikos!! Thank you for the step by step on the best homemade cheese ever!! In Greek, we call this ανθότυρο or anthotiro!!
    Looks scrumptdelicioso!!

  2. love this post! i’ve made my own soft cheeses in the past, mainly paneer, for indian dishes. i like this variation of steps and i’m definitely going to try it this way. keep the tips coming, nat. love them!

    • Of course you can! I haven’t done it, since i’m still not bored of the plain version, and I usually serve it with a homemade condiment, like fruit jams or jalapeno jelly. But you can add many things to it. Try mixing in dried herbs along with the salt, or rolling it in fresh herbs just before serving. Or even a little drizzle of olive oil & balsamic.. yum!

  3. I was going to call you about how to make this after you brought it to the last get-together! Thanks for posting

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