A recipe for making fresh cheese - contributed
by Michael Hobbes
Original recipe from Platina:
De Caseo. Even though cheese is served as a third course, this is
nevertheless the place to set forth its virtue, since it is made from milk,
which we have just discussed. It is often used in preparing many dishes.
Take curds that are not too coagulated, so that the cheese does not turn
sour, as often happens, and with a hand that is not too thin or too hot,
but fleshy and gentle, reduce the curds into a mass and put it from the
container into moulds or pails or small baskets; press it until the whey
within come out. After the cheese has been salted it is put in a place
where it is somewhat exposed to smoke; when it has absorbed the smoke and
has been aged a little, it will be good to eat.
- Andrews, E.B. trans. Platina. De Honesta Voluptatae.
L. de Aguila. Venice, 1475. St. Louis: Mallinckrodt, 1967.
The day before you are to make the cheese, pour half a gallon of milk
into a sealed container. Add mesophilium cheese starter and set in a spot
where it will not be bothered. When you are ready to make the cheese, take
the milk and allow it to warm to room temperature. Next, in a double boiler,
bring the temperature of the milk to 95° F. When it has reached that
temperature, add starter culture (if you save a little, you can freeze
it for later use and never have to buy it again). If using pasteurized
milk add just a touch of calcium chloride before renneting to help break
down any sugars that caramelized during that process. After one and one
half hours, gently stir in rennet (use your judgment as to how much to
use – we used ¼ tsp. per gallon) make certain that the temperature
is constant at 95° F. After 2 ½ hours, the curd should be set
up. GENTLY, cut the curd into roughly 1” cubes. Next it is important to
heat the curd to 110° F to cook the curd and force out excess water.
You will know when the curd is done because it will be shiny (generally
about 1 hour). Strain the curd to remove the excess whey and place in a
bowl. Next gently stir in salt to taste and then place the curds in a muslin-lined
mould. Gently push the curds into the mould until the form an even layer.
Cover the curds with muslin and place in the press. Apply 15 lbs. Pressure
for 90 minutes. Remove cheese from press, flip, and return to press. Apply
30 lbs. of pressure for 2 ½ hours. Remove from Mould, flip, and
return to press. Apply 50 lbs. pressure for 18 hours. Remove from Mould
and place on a cheese board somewhere dry. Next, allow the cheese to settle
for three days and then apply a thin coating of wax. Allow to age for 2-3
months and then serve. Should make 1-2 lbs. of cheese.
2 ½ Gallons Milk
Mesophilium Cheese Starter
3’x3’ section of Butter Muslin (do not use craft cheesecloth – weave
is too loose)
Cheese Press (either purchased or constructed)
Salt, flake or kosher
Calcium Chloride (if using pasteurized milk)
Adapted from: Carroll, Ricki and Robert Carroll. Cheesemaking
Made Easy. Pownal, VT: Garden Way Publishing, 1995, p. 68.
Leicester Cheese is featured in Coronation
Feast of H.R.H Kenna
& Gas Mark Equivalencies