Sunday, April 17, 2011

Whey and Cream Cheese

Makes 5 cups whey and 2 cups cream cheese

2 quarts piima milk
whole-milk buttermilk
yoghurt or raw milk

We call for the use of whey in many recipes - as a starter culture for lacto-fermented vegetables and fruits, for soaking grains and as a starter for many beverages. The cream cheese, which is a by-product, is far superior to the commercial variety, which is produced by putting milk under high pressure and not by the beneficial action of lactic-aid-producing bacteria.

If you are using piima milk or whole-milk buttermilk, let stand at room temperature 1-2 days until the milk visibly separates into white curds and yellowish whey. If you are using yoghurt, no advance preparation is required. You may use homemade yoghurt or good quality commercial plain yoghurt. If you are using raw milk, place the milk in a clean glass container and allow it to stand at room temperature 1-4 days until it separates.

Line a large strainer set over a bowl with a clean dish towel. Pour in the yoghurt or separated milk, cover and let stand at room temperature for several hours (longer for yoghurt). The whey will run into the bowl and the milk solids will stay in the strainer. Tie up the towel with the milk solids inside, being careful not to squeeze. Tie this little sack to a wooden spoon placed across the top of a container so that more whey can drip out. When the bag stops dripping, the cheese is ready. Store whey in a mason jar and cream cheese in a govered glass container. Refrigerated, the cream cheese keeps for about 1 month and the whey for about 6 months.

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