Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fromage Frais

I had a really fun weekend making fromage frais. My mom bought me a cheesemaking book and I've been looking forward to trying some recipes from it for a while. We spent Saturday shopping for rennet, a coagulant, and for the bacterial culture, which we ended up finding at Les Amis du Fromage, which we had never been to before, but were impressed by - we'll definitely go back to buy cheese another time.

The recipe was really easy - it only took about 10 minutes to do. The milk had to sit out at room temperature for about 12 hours, so Sunday morning before work, I drained it into cheesecloth. It wasn't really like the ricotta or paneer I had made before, where the curds separate visibly from the whey. I poured the entire pot into the cheesecloth, and it seemed very watery. I wasn't quite sure how it was going to turn out, but I was really excited to come home from work to find it had set up perfectly. I was happy.

I haven't quite had time to figure out what to do with it yet because on Monday I got really sick. I'll post some pictures once I make something with the cheese. But I will definitely be making more cheese in the future, maybe some goat's cheese, if I can find goat's milk, and feta one day soon too.

Fromage Frais
From 200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes
Yield: 1L
Print recipe

4L whole milk
1/4 tsp aroma or mesophilic culture
2 drops liquid rennet
kosher salt
  1. In a large pot, warm milk over medium heat to 77F (25C), stirring gently to prevent scorching. Remove from heat.

  2. Sprinkle culture over surface of milk and let stand about 5 minutes to rehydrate.

  3. Using a skimmer and an up-and-down motion, gently draw culture down into milk without breaking surface of milk.

  4. Dilute rennet in 1 tablespoon of cool water. 

  5. Add diluted rennet to milk. Using same up-and-down motion, draw rennet down into milk until well blended.

  6. Cover and let set at room temperature in a draft-free location for 12 hours.

  7. Using a skimmer, ladle curd into a cloth-lined colander and let drain. The draining will take several hours, depending on how firm you want your final product to be.

  8. Remove cheese from cloth and place in a bowl. Weigh cheese, then add 1% of the weight in salt.

  9. Store in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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