Anyone who knows me more than a little knows that I have a curious love hate relationship with rules. Let me get into this a bit more: I love rules, as long as they don’t apply to me. I know, it’s a brazen, shameless philosophy, but I can’t really help it. What would our world be like without the proper guidelines for doing things in life? Chaotic at best. And I do love things that work smoothly and correctly, especially when it comes to my surroundings. But just don’t ask me to be part of those guidelines, because I will probably go crazy (er?) or run away. I don’t know why, but I just feel rebellious when someone says “That’s the way everyone does it. That’s why yo should also do it that way.” Not that I have something against systems or structures. I’d just rather appreciate them from the sidelines. I guess it’s just one of those things that make us who we are, because they suit us and keep us comfortable. And indeed I was comfortable making this cheese, because I didn’t adhere to any recipes (even though it’s my first time) and instead figured I’d go with whatever sounded best in my mind. The result was a beyond delicious, creamy spreadable fluffy goodness which can be whipped up in two hours and keeps for about a week in your fridge (not that it will last that long before you eat it). And, it breaks all the rules, which is my favorite part. For the first time making cheese, it’s easy and inviting to try more challenging recipes, even if that means I’ll have to do it the pre-established way. (Because I don’t think I can make up rennet…) But imagine the possibilities once you find that cheese is so easy to make! And this home recipe is open to all kinds of herbs and additions, such as garlic or chives. No rules, no fuss. Recipe after the jump.
This recipe uses limes, but I’m pretty sure you can switch them for lemons as the majority of recipes do. I used himalayan salt, but added it at the end because it’s not cheese salt.
I prefer to serve it with a drizzle of a strong olive oil and freshly ground pepper, but you can add garlic, onions, herbs, fruits, nuts or whatever you want to this cheese, because it’s great as a spread. You can also sweeten it for a morning spread or use it as it is in pasta, lasagna, or vinaigrettes. The possibilities are endless!
1000 ml milk
80 ml cream (whipping, preferably)
50 ml lime juice
1-2 tsp coarse salt of your choice
In a deep pot, heat the milk and cream together until they reach 178ºF. Turn the heat off and add the lime juice. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes undisturbed. You’ll see a clear separation of whey and small curds (If you tilt the pot, you should see the clear, yellowish whey separate from the milky white curds).
Carefully and without moving it much, transfer to a colander lined with cheesecloth. Tie the cheesecloth at the the ends and hang it somewhere it can drip for a long period of time (I use a long sturdy stick and place a bowl under it to collect the whey). Hang it anywhere between one hour to 8. The firmness of the cheese will depend on how long you let it drain. If you want it as a spread, do less time. If you want a firmer, more ricotta-like texture, go for the longer time. Once ready, transfer to a bowl. Crush the salt in a mortar and fold it into the cheese using a rubber spatula, making sure its evenly mixed. Store in the fridge for up to one week.
(If you’re going to sweeten it, skip the salt part and instead use honey, agave nectar, or sweetener of your choice)