Zechariah 13:9

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God. Zechariah 13:9

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Home-made Muenster Cheese

Thursday, 11 March 2010

  • Home-made Muenster Cheese

     One of the blessings of living on a dairy farm is that there is always an abundance of milk.  Over the years we have made butter, cottage cheese, different flavors of ice-cream and different types of cheeses.  The most frequently made items are the ice-cream, especially in the summer, and muenster cheese. On this post I will walk you through the steps of making the cheese and maybe you could give it a try.   It is easy and delicious.   These are the ingredients that you will need.
    4 gallons whole milk, 2 cups cultured buttermilk, 4 junket tablets, 4 T salt.  You will also need a very large kettle, some cheese cloth and a cheese press.  Actually, if you don't have a press, the curds are delicious to eat. 
    lg.kettle junket
    Pour the 4 gal. milk in the large kettle, add the buttermilk and 4 junket tablets dissolved in a little water.  Heat to 86 degrees.  Let set one hour.  Cut in 1/2 inch squares and heat to 102 degrees.
    cut curds
    Let set another hour.  You are to pour off the whey, but I find it easier to scoop out the curds into a cheesecloth lined colander, due to how big and heavy the kettle is.  So, scoop out all the curds.
    warm curds
    curds draining
    I let the curds drain for a while, then mix in 3 Tablespoon sea salt.  Gather up cheesecloth corners and put into the press.
    curds 2
    For the press.  My very kind father-in-law (that's you, Jim!) made me the square base, top and round "follower" out of oak.  My very dear husband made me the rest of the press.  He used PVC pipe for the molds and pushers.  He drilled holes in the molds so that the whey can drain out.   It was very inexpensive to make.
    press pieces
    I like to put an aluminum pie pan or cake pan under the mold so that the cheese is not directly on the wood.  After you put your cheese in the mold, you would put the round wooden follower in next, then a pusher, then the square top and lastly, weights on top.  I just use the boys dumbbells (30#).  All this is put on a jelly roll sheet that is propped up in the back so that the whey can drain away from mold.
    cheese press
    After about 1 1/2 - 2hrs., I flip the cheese around in mold and continue to press for a few more hours.  This recipe calls to age the cheese for 2 weeks, but we rarely do.  We ususally can't wait that long to eat it, but it definitely is better if you have the patience for 2 weeks.  This makes about a 3 1/2 # block of cheese.
    block of cheese
     slice of cheese
    Are you ready to give it a try?  It is worth all the efforts. 
    Until next time...................

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