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Home Made

By Yvette van Boven

Published 2011

  • About

Oddly enough, to make cheese you don’t need much equipment and it is actually only about as much work as making tea.

You can decide when you think the cheese is ‘ready’. Each stage of the cheese making has a different flavour and another texture. By adding salt to the cheese, you will slightly extend its shelf life, say, one week. Here is a step-by-step guide for a cow’s milk cheese, by step 5 I will have made ricotta, but I will continue to make a cheese that is most like cow’s cheese. Experiment with goat’s milk or sheep’s milk. With this recipe you can make a cheese weighing approximately 250 g (8 oz).

You will need: 1 litre (4 cups) organic milk, 1 litre (4 cups) organic buttermilk, a few drops of lemon juice and 1 tsp salt (to taste)


  • Prepare

    One 400 g (14 oz) tin, of which the inside is lacquered white (against rust, which often occurs in tins), one other tin or weight that snugly fits into it, one piece of cheesecloth or fine fabric, one long piece of elastic, one small plate.

    Using a tin opener, cut the top and bottom off the tin and save one lid for later.

    Put a large pan on the heat and pour in the milk. Squeeze the lemon.

  • Heat the two milks in a pan. Add the lemon juice.

  • When the milk is near boilng, it will separate into whey and curd. Continue to stir for 1 minute.

  • Strain and stir until all whey has drained.

  • You have just made ricotta! That’s how fast it is.

  • Add salt and stir.

  • Now you have lightly salted fresh cheese. High time to make actual cheese...

  • Place the cloth in the tin and pour in the curds.

  • Pull up the corners, allowing the young cheese to sink in.

  • If necessary, cut the cloth to size and cover with the lid.

  • Cover with another tin and place them both on a plate. Tightly wrap the elastic around both tins. After a while you can tighten the elastic. Place in the refrigerator for 12 hours.

  • Ta-Da! You’ve made an actual cheese! You can now roll it through herbs, if you so desire, or eat it as is, with a tomato on toast, for example. You can also return the cheese to a tray with water and salt to the fridge (1 tsp salt for 500 ml [16 fl oz/2 cups] water). This is called ‘pickling’: the cheese will develop more flavour and also an entirely different structure. Do this for three days at the most.