From the New Making of a Cook by Madeleine Kamman
Fresh white soft cheese
I chose this recipe because I am about to try it for the first time.
I was reading her book, and when I came across this recipe', I think I fell in love.
If it all goes well, it will prove to be a wonderful recipe to make a couple different cheeses from a single batch. Who doesn't love a good cheese, with some wine, and a good bread.
yeild about 1 quart
1 gallon milk of your choice
1/2 rennet tablet ( I found rennet tablets in the milk section of HEB. I never would have found it if I didn't ask for help. I looked at several different stores. Whole foods should have it too.)
2 tbsp water
1/2 c buttermilk
Pour the milk into a large stainless steel container and heat it to 75* - 78* F.
While it heats, mix the rennet tablet and water together, breaking and crushing the rennet well with a spoon. Stir the rennet mixture into the buttermilk, then pour that mixture stirring well, into the warm milk. Be sure that it is stirred carefully through the whole mass of the milk or the cheese will be thicker on the surface than it will be at the bottom of it's clabbering bowl or pot.
Pour the milk into a glass vessel, cover it with cheesecloth to prevent insects from fall ing into the cheese, and let set unrefridgerated until the curd is solid, 12-18 hrs; the most practical way is to prepare the cheese overnight. As soon as the curd pulls away from the sides of the fermenting vesssel, use a large stainless steel knife to square inch cubes through the curd and release the whey.
Line a colander with a fresh length of cheesecloth rinsed in cold water and squeezed almost dry and ladle the curd into the colander placed over another larger bowl if you want to keep the whey or in the sink if you plan to discard it. Ladling rather than pouring is important, resulting in a better texture in the finished cheese. Let the curd drip until the cheese forms a ball of soft-textured protein to it's center.
To obtain a harder cheese, let the just renetted cheese sit for 1 hour over a large bowl of water maintained at 170* F, stirring occasionally. The cheese proteins will "denature" further and harden as the water they contain is squeezed out of them. The cheese you get will not taste as silky but rather slightly chalky on the tongue.
There are many ways to utilize this cheese. First you can salt it as much as you desire, or sweeten it or both. Try it with berries and a puree of raspberries, or a cooked compote of apricots or plums; since it is recently clabbered, it is refreshing and sweet tasting from all the lactose it still contains. If you try to make a cheesecake with it, you will obtain the same peasant-typecake that is made in Alsace and western Germany, slightly dry compared to our American idea of a rich cheesecake, but lighter. The whey can be used to prepare pancakes or crepes.