One of my friends wanted to see how I make Chevre, so even though this cheese is soooo easy to make, I told her I would post a tutorial.
There are quite a few recipes for Chevre, the easiest one is to buy a packet of Chevre starter from New England Cheesemaking Supply. Be sure to check out the recipe tab on that page! Yum! This is the easiest method because the prep time is as long as it takes you to heat the milk to 86 degrees and add a packet of starter. This is absolutely the recipe to use if you cannot have cow milk.
|New England Cheesemaking sells the Chevre starter packages of 5.
Fias Co Farm has a Chevre recipe here.
Fankhauser’s Cheese Page has a recipe using ingredients you can buy from the grocery store here.
I use a recipe that I modified from Goat Cheese Plus (a yahoo group).
1 gallon goat milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon rennet disolved in 1/4 cup unchlorinated (or distilled) water.
|Heat 1-gallon of goat milk to 86 degrees.
|Add 1/4 cup buttermilk. Let rest for 30-60 minutes. 30 minutes is minimum, but if it goes longer that’s okay.
|1/4 teaspoon rennet dissolved in 1/4 cup cool, unchlorinated (or distilled) water.
|Pour the dissolved rennet through a spoon with holes so the rennet doesn’t get poured all into one spot. Doing it this way spreads out the rennet and starts the mixing process.
|Mix with an up and down motion for 1-minute to thoroughly mix rennet into the milk.
|Cover and let the milk set for 10-12 hours (overnight or all day). If your house is cool (under 72 degrees) cover the pot with a towel or put it in the oven. You can also put it in a Wonder Box.
After 10-12 hours the milk should be set. It will be thick like yogurt, but may not give a clean break. Gently pour or scoop the curds into cheesecloth, a cheese bag, Chevre cups, or plastic cups with holes.
|Sometimes you can see the whey separating from the curds, like this time. But sometimes it looks just like yogurt.
You can hang the curds in cheesecloth, a cheese bag
, put the curds in special chevre cups, or in plastic cups that have holes punched in the sides and bottoms. Punch the holes from the inside of the cup to the outside so that there aren’t any little ‘pokies’ sticking into the cheese.
Traditional Chevre is a shaped cheese, Farmer’s cheese is hung in a bag (also called ‘Bag Cheese’).
|Here are the Chevre cups I bought from New England Cheesemaking supply. I use the canning funnel that my friend gave me so that when I scoop out the curds they slide easily into the cups without shleping over the cup rims.
|The whey will drain out the small holes. It will take about 10-12 hours (overnight or all day) to drain enough for the cheese to be ready.
|You can also drain the curds in a cheese bag or butter muslin (which is much better than cheesecloth). I use the arm from my cheese press to hold the bag. You can hang the bag from a kitchen cabinet knob. Don’t be surprised if the house cat or dog decides that the drained whey is sitting in the bowl just for them!
|If I drain it from the kitchen cabinet, this is what it looks like.
|12 hours later, this is how much whey has drained from the cheese.
|This is what it looks like when it comes out of the cups.
My favorite recipe is really the New England Cheesemaking Chevre starter. I like the flavor a bit better than the buttermilk recipe, but if I don’t have any commercial starter, I use buttermilk. You can also use less rennet if you want to since this is really an acid ripened cheese, not a rennet cheese. (Instead of using 1/2 teaspoon of rennet you can add 2 drops of rennet to 1/4 cup uncholorinated water.)
We don’t eat our Chevre plain very often, we usually add basil, onion granules, garlic granules, and salt to taste. (look here.) Here’s a link to another post that has a list of different flavors you can add to chevre.
This Thanksgiving we will serve it with pepper jelly on top! Yum!
The name of the great canning funnel that my friend gave me is Bottle Mate Canning Funnel. You can google it and/or find it here.