August 22, 2009

Home Creamery: Chèvre

Chevre

Chèvre is a cheese that commands a premium in the marketplace. I always assumed that there was a real art to making good chèvre. Turns out that it's embarrassingly easy!

To make this cheese you need a gallon of goat milk, a packet of chèvre culture, a colander, some butter muslin, a thermometer, and a stainless steel pan with lid. I purchased my culture through New England Cheesemaking Supply Company.

So here's the big secret. Heat the milk to 86°, sprinkle the culture onto the milk and stir it in, then cover. Keep the covered pan in a warm place for 12 hours while the bacteria do their magic. Then carefully lift the curds into a colander lined with butter muslin. You can leave it in the colander or hang it, your choice. Let it drain for 12 hours. Yield is about 2 pounds. If you've made yogurt, you have all the skills needed for chèvre.

You could choose to mold it into logs, or into boules, or not at all. I molded it by packing a ramekin full, then turning the cheese out into a container to marinate. I let the cheese marinate in extra virgin olive oil with some fresh herbs until ready to serve.

The recipes you'll find usually call for pasteurized goat milk, and that's the legal thing to do. I, however, am a scofflaw and used raw goat milk. It made a truly delightful chèvre.

12 comments:

  1. Beautiful! There is a great website called New England Cheese Making Supply Company. It's great resource too. I taught my kids how to make cheese from them. Mozzarella is our favorite!

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  2. You're a genius! I'd love to try it but I know I won't want to search for the bacteria..but the recipe gave me the idea: yoghurt from goat milk! I must try this.

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  3. Yum! I'm really enjoying reading your blog, Gareth. You look well and happy.

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  4. Goat milk yogurt is quite good. You'll be glad you made it.

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  5. I'm so glad you did this. My ricotta and mozzarella are so much better with your water-bath technique. Now I have to try goat cheese...if I can find goat milk that's not ultra-pasteurized. Arkansas is not exactly the pinnacle of culinary resources.

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  6. Check the Real Milk website. The Arkansas page shows lots of sources for the milk you'll need.

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  7. awesome post. i work at a creamery for school making cheese and ice cream. i love chevre and we don't make soft cheeses. i'll have to give it a try. i also noticed their site sells mozzarella kits, which looks good.

    thanks

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  8. Thanks! Their mozzarella kits are pretty good.

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  9. I have been waiting for you to make chevre! It's my all-time favorite. Can't wait to try it!

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  10. Hi Gareth!
    I was just searching the internet for the difference of using pasteurized vs unpasteurized goats milk - since I am just draining a batch of unpasteurized chevre and started to worry I was going to pass along some diseases. Thanks for the renegade advice!

    You may already know this, but Foster and Dobbs off NE 15th also sells the cultures. Handy for Portlanders!

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  11. Urban Farm Store also sells some cheesemaking supplies.

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