Farmer’s Cheese

What you need:
• 2 quarts pasteurized milk
• 2 cups buttermilk
• 1 TB spoon white vinegar
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• Fine cheesecloth
• Butcher’s twine

What you do:
• In a heavy saucepan, over low heat, slowly heat up the milk, stirring often, until it is just about to simmer (180 F)
• Stir buttermilk into heated milk. Then stir in vinegar.
• Turn off the heat and, very slowly, stir until the milk begins to separate into curds and whey.
• Leave undisturbed for 10 minutes.
• Meanwhile, wet the fine cheesecloth that is large enough to line a colander and hang over the sides. Place the cheesecloth-lined colander over a bowl to catch any whey.
• After the milk-buttermilk-vinegar mixture has sat undisturbed for 10 minutes, use a skimmer or slotted spoon to ladle the curds into the cheesecloth. Allow the curds to drain for 10 minutes.
• Gather up the edges of the cheesecloth to form a bundle in order to drain as much whey as possible from the farmer’s cheese.
• Use a length of butcher’s twine to tie the cheesecloth containing the curds into a neat bundle, pressing on the cheesecloth a bit to help the whey drain off.
• Tie the string to a wooden spoon or dowel, and hang the cheese curds over a pot or container to collect any remaining whey and continue draining for 30 minutes.
• After draining, remove the cheese from the cheesecloth, and transfer it to a nonmetallic bowl or container.
• Add salt to the farmer’s cheese by stirring. This will break up the cheese into dry curds.
• Cover and refrigerate. Use within 5 days.

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