Fig-Leaf Cheese

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


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By Ben Shewry

Published 2012

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  • 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) organic Jersey cow milk
  • 8 fresh fig leaves
  • 40 g ( oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • pinch of table salt
  • 10 ml ( fl oz) strained lemon juice


Combine all of the ingredients, except the lemon juice, in a large saucepan and heat to 70°C (158°C). Hold the mixture at this temperature for 20 minutes to infuse.

Increase the temperature to 80°C (176°F), then add the lemon juice — this will split the milk into curds and whey. Once the milk solids have separated, remove the fig leaves, making sure to scrape any solids from the leaves. Discard the fig leaves. Strain the solids through a fine sieve lined with muslin (cheesecloth), reserving both the solids and whey (to make the fig-leaf ice).

Cool the cheese to room temperature, then store in an airtight container with a little of the whey spooned over it to keep it moist. Refrigerate until needed. The fig-leaf cheese should look a bit like cottage cheese and it should taste slightly bitter.