Amy is the ultimate homesteader. She raises pigs and chickens, keeps a big garden and even has a tractor and big barn. She’s made lots of cheese from scratch and knows a thing or two about the art of dairy transformation. Amy shares her experience with the Belle Chevre DIY Cheese Kit from the Eat Boutique Shop. Recipe and wise advice below – Thanks, Amy! – Maggie
This time of year, all I can think about is being outdoors. Springtime in New England – when the sky doesn’t spit cold, angry rain – is a glorious season, a season that nearly causes amnesia about the wintertime we’ve just endured.
This is the time of year when we freshen our flower gardens, plant our vegetables, and begin to dine outside once again. Weekend mornings are meant for light breakfasts on the deck, strong coffee in hand.
As I scheme out a summer full of weekend breakfasts under blue skies, honey goat cheese rises to the top of my list. Light and tangy, yet sweet and satisfying, it goes well with fresh fruit, a sprinkle of homemade granola, or straight off of the spoon.
When Maggie asked me if I’d like to try Belle Chevre’s DIY Cheese Kit, the enthusiasm I had was all in the anticipated eating of the goat cheese. You know. Outdoors. With fruit. And the accompanying leisurely coffee drinking. And then the kit arrived. Oh, nice packaging, what a sucker I am for you.
If you’ve ever made cheese before, you know that you need a thermometer. This may seem like a small thing in the scheme of packaging, but when your thermometer is decrepit and unreliable, a new thermometer included in your cheese-making kit is an act of kindness and consideration.
Oh, and cheesecloth. Cheesecloth, cheesecloth, cheesecloth. What a disappointment most cheesecloth is – flimsy, meant to be reused, but after washing it to the point where it is curd-free, it’s usually full of loose string and has been rendered even flimsier than the day you bought it. But not Belle Chevre’s cheesecloth. Oh no. They provide a very lovely and sturdy cheesecloth – totally reusable for future cheesemaking.
And the packaging. Have I mentioned sucker for nice packaging? Just look at it.
The directions come with fun drawings of goats and marinated goat cheese, all on a big sheet with directions for making the cheese – difficult to lose, even for a scattershot like me – along with Savannah Bee Company cheese honey (also beautifully packaged, of course), and a container with a Belle Chevre label that is totally pro.
Oh, and enough citric acid to make honey goat cheese all summer long. Boo-ya.
The entire process is very easy, a great project for beginners to tackle or to try with kids (human children, not goat children). The entire cheese-making process takes only about an hour, making it possible to enjoy slightly warm honey goat cheese during breakfast, if you’re feeling industrious.
You should try for feeling industrious at least one morning this summer. The goat cheese is really darned good when still warm.
Honey Goat Cheese from Belle Chevre
- ½ gallon goat milk, not ultra-pasturized
- 1 teaspoon citric acid
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ ounce honey
- For a half-gallon of goat milk, dissolve 1 heaping teaspoon of citric acid in ¼ cup of water.
- Pour the goat milk into a non-reactive (stainless steel) stockpot, mix in the dissolved citric acid, and stir well.
- Heat on medium, stirring occasionally until the milk reaches 185ºF.
- Allow the milk to sit for 15 minutes, then transfer the curds and whey to your cheesecloth-lined colander set over a bowl.
- A half-hour later, viola! Goat cheese!
- Sprinkle with kosher salt (also provided by the buttoned up team at Belle Chevre), stir in the honey, and breakfast goat cheese is served.
Amy’s Recipe Notes:
- The results in my kitchen were good with both farmers market-purchased goat milk and goat milk from the grocery store.
- To make the process a little more manageable, I scaled the recipe back to make a half batch of the cheese.
- A half-gallon of goat milk fits easily into a medium saucepan.
- The draining process requires a smaller container. I use an 8-cup capacity bowl to catch the whey.
- When it comes time to drain the curds and whey, the transfer from the stockpot is made a little easier if you set a colander atop a large bowl or pot, then line the colander with the cheesecloth.
All photos styled and taken by Amy McCoy.
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