Monday, April 5, 2010

Herbed Cheese Spread

Herbed Cheese Spread

We are new to cheese making, so we thought we would start out with something easy.

Herbed Cheese Spread

2 quarts whole raw milk
1/3 cup herbal vinegar
salt and herbs; to taste

Heat the milk in a non-reactive sauce pan over medium heat until the temperature reaches 180°F.
Heating The Milk

Reduce heat as low as possible and heat for about 10 minutes longer, keeping the temperature as close to 180°F as possible.

Remove pan from the heat and add the herbal vinegar (we used raspberry) Vinegar for Herbed Cheese Spread
Stir with a slotted stainless steel (or wooded) spoon to incorporate.

Set the pan aside for about 15 minutes to let the milk curdle.

Line a colander with a double thickness of cheesecloth. Place the colander over a larger kettle to catch the whey. (chickens and pigs love this)Cheese Cloth Ready For Milk
Pour the curdled milk into the cheesecloth and let the excess liquid drain through.

Gather the corners of the cheesecloth together and tie into a knot. We hang the bundle from the faucet on the kitchen sink.Draining Cheese

Allow to drip for a few hours.

Remove cheese from cheesecloth and place in a bowl. At this time salt and other herbs can be added to taste.

Chill for a few hours before serving.


  1. Hi Nancy, YUM! I made a cheese like this a few weeks ago. Really liked it fresh. Also have taken the yogurt and drained it this way to for a soft cheese and added herbs - oh so nice!

    The whey I have frozen in 2 cup increments to use in my breads as I need it. What do you do with your whey? Do you know if freezing kills the beneficial things in whey? Emily in S. TX

  2. Hi Emily, I don't know if freezing kills the goodness of the whey. We either use ours quickly, or feed it to the chickens. I know it can be used to make ricotta cheese, but we have never tried that (I believe it takes a lot, not sure if frozen would work)

    I love the yogurt drained for a cheese spread...yummm!!


  3. Hi Nancy,

    This looks wonderful. I've wanted to try making my own fresh cheese for a while now; I need to do it! Thanks for this inspiration.


    PS - I am living vicariously through your blog; I live in new york city but dream of living in Maine some day!

  4. Nancy, Good luck with your cheese.....just go for it! We have been saying for the longest time that we were going to do it, and we finally did. Now on to bigger cheeses..... (one of these days!)

    Thanks for reading!
    ~ Nancy

  5. Do you think it would still taste good using apple cider vinegar? Maybe sweetening the vinegar a bit with honey or maple syrup? I really appreciate your sharing the different steps of your journey, helping to show the way for others on a similar path. :)


  6. Hi Anne, I think it would be very good with the apple cider vinegar and I would try sweetening it a bit as well. That's one thing we always do around here....experiment. If it doesn't come out good then we try something different the next time! (It helps having chickens, because they usually love our failures and I don't feel as though I'm wasting!)
    ~ Nancy