2296 Homemade white cheese made from curds and sour cream

Syr domashnij belyj iz tvorogu so smetanoju

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

A Gift to Young Housewives

By Elena Molokhovets

Published 1992

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Fresh, whole milk poured, as usual, into an earthenware jug will sour after standing for several days in a warm place and turn into yogurt, i.e., the whey will begin to separate [from the curds]. The soured cream may be blended with milk or, better yet, left undisturbed and put as is into a summer oven that is not too hot (about 40 degrees Reaumur), such as after baking bread. If the oven is too hot and causes the milk suddenly to turn into curd cheese, the resulting cheese will be reddish, crumbly, and foul-tasting.

Curd cheese prepared in this manner should be taken out of the oven and completely cooled in the same jugs before being transferred to a conical sack. Let the whey drain off, place the sack with the cheese onto a sloping table, and weight the sack with a wooden board and a stone—start with a light stone, and add a heavier one later. After several hours, when the whey has completely drained into a container placed below the edge of the sloping table, remove the cheese from the bag and salt it slightly. Add some caraway seeds, if desired, being careful not to disturb the layers. Then transfer the cheese to small triangular sacks [for shaping], tie them up, and place under a press again; i.e., cover with a board and stones for several hours.

If flaky cheese is desired, do not disturb the cheese by salting, but pack it directly into small triangular sacks. Later remove the cheese and salt the surface, or wrap it for 24 hours in a cloth dampened in salted water. Repeat this process several times.

Cheeses prepared by either method are dried during the summer in the fresh air, in the shade. In winter they are dried in a warm room but far from the oven, on shelves or poles* covered with straw. Cheese will crack if dried in the sunshine or near the oven. As mold appears, scrape it off with a knife and rinse the cheese in salt water. To protect the cheese from flies, dry it in baskets that allow the air to penetrate, or cover it with a thick net and turn the cheese frequently from one side to the other. Well-dried cheeses that have been cleaned and scraped with a knife should be packed with oat straw in large earthenware jugs, or the entire jug of cheese may be nestled in a bed of straw. As a rule, cheese should not be stored where it is too dry or too damp. In the first instance it will dry out, in the second, it will rot and spoil. If the cheese becomes moldy, rinse it with whey, salt it, and dry in the shade, turning it from side to side.