How to make Chevre (soft goat cheese)

Chevre is an easy, easy, easy cheese to make and it’s really delicious and rewarding.  It’s low tech, not a lot of equipment, and it’s really hard to screw it up.

Ingredients:

  • 2 drops of Microbial Rennet (not animal rennet if you want to keep it kosher)
  • ½ tsp of Flora Danica enzyme
  • ½ tsp of Mesophilic starter enzyme (MA-11)
  • 1 gallon raw or pasteurized (NOT ultra-pasturized) Goat Milk (we use Summerhill Goat Milk, it’s the only non-ultra pasteurized milk we can find)
  • 2 foot by 2 foot piece of cheesecloth
  • Colander
  • Piece of Twine or strong string about 12 inches long or more
  • Thermometer for hot liquid
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • Clean stove pot with lid that is 1+ gallon

Place the goat milk in a clean pot, heat to 86 degrees using an accurate thermometer (like the kind for steaming milk).  Turn off the heat and add the two enzymes and rennet and mix well.  Cover and let the pot sit for 12 to 24 hours (24 recommended) in a relatively warm place.  When set, you’ll see some yellow liquid on top and some yogurt like stuff on the bottom.  Next, get a colander, place it in a sink, drape a cheesecloth over the colander and drain the pot into the middle of the cheesecloth supported by the colander.  Tie the twine into a round circle, and grab two opposing ends the the cheesecloth put one end in the twine circle and tie the cheesecloth ends together.  Grab the other ends of the cheesecloth, put one end through the twine and tie the ends together.  Your can tie both ends one more time if you want.  Hang the cheese back where it can drip into a pot for 3-6 hours depending on how wet you want your cheese.

Unpack the cheesecloth and place all the cheese into a bowl, add kosher salt and stir it in.  Put in the refrigerator and enjoy!

I strongly believe that cheese has ‘terre’ which is a unique combination of kind of milk, season of the milk, your location, and the enzymes that you use.  So, find the freshest, pasteurized or raw goat’s milk you can, and experiment with different enzymes for a taste that’s unique to you!  We experimented with just MA-11, just Flora Danica and came to the current 1/2 and 1/2 recipe; feel free to make 3 batches of chevre maybe 1 day apart and do a blind taste test!  then you’ll have your recipe!

Updated 8/10/12

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