Fresh Cheese
Leave it soft like ricotta, or press it into paneer. Flavor it any way you like.
2cups (approx)
2cups (approx)
  • 4cups Milkanything from skim to whole – it all works
  • 1cup Creamanything from half and half to whipping
  • 1/2tsp Salt
  • 1/4cup Lemon Juiceor white wine vinegar
  • To taste Herbs, and/or spices for flavoring(optional)
  1. Heat milk, cream and salt just to the boiling point (180°F) in glass bowl in the microwave, or in a non-reactive saucepan over medium heat on the stovetop, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
  2. Add lemon juice and stir gently to distribute. The milk will start to curdle pretty quickly.
  3. For soft cheese, let your mixture sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before straining.
  4. For larger, firmer curds, keep cooking the mixture (not stirring) at very low temperature for a further 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Line a sieve with 4 layers of dampened cheesecloth, paper towels, coffee filters, or a very clean white cotton or linen kitchen towel. Gently tip the curds into the sieve, allowing the whey to drain into another container, if saving.
  6. Let the cheese continue to drain until it has the consistency of softened butter, and is no longer dripping. 30 minutes to an hour. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate.
  7. Fresh cheese can be flavored with additional salt, herbs and spices. Dried herbs will allow a longer shelf-life than fresh herbs.
  8. For firmer cheese, place the cheesecloth-wrapped bundle between kitchen plates. Add a heavy can or other weight on top. Allow to compress and continue draining in the refrigerator for 12 – 24 hours. Remove cheesecloth and store in an airtight container.
  9. Use within a week, or freeze for up to 2 months.