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Author:  Renee
E-mail:  not available
Date:  8/28/2004 10:50:00 PM
Subject:  homemade cheese
Message:  I use lemon juice. Most non animal rennet is made from citric acid anyway. Lemon juice is a readily available source of citric acid for curdling cheese.

You will get a soft cheese (like ricotta) which can be pressed into a cream cheese or even a brie like brick if you want.

Here is the recipe:

2 qts of milk (whole milk) brought to a boil for 12-15 minutes,

Reduce heat to low and add 3-4 tblsp fresh (!) lemon juice. Stir gently, the curds will separate from the whey in about 10 minutes.

Line a colander with cheesecloth so that it hangs over the edges several inches and drain the cheese into the colander, over a bowl. (you might want to drink this - it is good and supposedly healthy for the digestion).

Pour cold water over the curds in the colander to solidify them more.

Here you have a nice ricotta type pot cheese.This is a good cheese for baking knaffa (the shredded wheat and cheese custard pastry) and making lasagna in my humble opinion. Also it is great for a nice dry kind of Italian style cheesecake (just add three eggs, a cup of sugar and a tsp of vanilla and fill an 8 in crust).

If you add some milk, half and half or cream and salt you will have cottage cheese (but really good).

If you gather up the corners of the cheesecloth and twist them together and squeeze the rest of the liquid out, you are getting closer to cream cheese.

I hang the ball from the sink faucet over night and get a nice soft white cheese that I flavour with kosher or sea salt. (I believe that the reason we use kosher or sea salt is because it does not have iodine,which affects the chemistry of things, but I am not sure about this though).

This cheese does not keep more than a few days, but it won't last that long!! I have doubled this recipe with the same results. It works with milk that is a day past its prime too. Two quarts of milk make about a pound of cheese.

Try it with olive oil, zaater (thyme, salt and sesame seeds, olives and warm pita for the authentic cultural experience.
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