It took me years to figure out what the elusive desert ‘cheese’ was we had back home, it was called ‘Blanc Battu’ short for fromage blanc battu and it is delicious with some fresh berries! Helpful but uninformed people over the years suggested farmers cheese and friendship cheese, but nehh, not the same AT ALL. Turns out you can make it at home here in the US quite easily with ingredients that are not too hard to come by. * Happy dance* ( In am doing that a lot lately, hmm)
Fromage Blanc culture is available from New England Cheese Making and the process couldn’t be simpler.
Milk, culture (see above) stainless steel cauldron (just kidding, you only need a pot) Thermometer, a colander and butter muslin. For a fresh and soft desert cheese (ok you can also drain it more and mix it with herbs or drop spoons full into your Spinach Salad, but if you leave it a little more moist it makes the best desert, and healthy too!) Again, for a fresh and soft cheese like this, the fresher the milk the better the cheese is going to taste. If you have access to a farm, where you can get yourself some raw milk that would taste the best. If you’d like to make it fat free or at least with less than the whole fat content, let your raw cow milk sit for 12 hours in the fridge, then skim off the layer of cream that forms on top (and make butter with it for example)
- 1 gallon milk
- 1 pack fromage blanc culture
- In a large pot heat the pasteurized milk to 86 degrees.The best and easiest way to do this is by placing the pot in your sink and filling the sink with warm (not hot) water. (86°F isn’t all that hot…)
- Once at temperature, sprinkle the direct set fromage blanc culture over top, let sit 2 minutes then stir and mix in well.
- Cover and let the milk sit undisturbed at 72°F for 16 hours (you can do as little as 12 hours, but I have found I like the taste best after about 16), in the colder month you want to add some warm water to the sink every so often.
- After the required time, you will have something like this, kinda like a thick yogurt consistency
- Ladle into butter muslin lined sterilized colander and drain for 3-4 hours (if you are going for more of a cream cheese texture, you can let the whey drain out for up to 12 hours), scraping the sides of the butter muslin every so often if the cloth becomes clogged. (One trick to draining this properly is to hang the knotted cheesecloth from your kitchen faucet)
- For true Blanc Battu, place the drained curd in a bowl and using your handheld mixer/egg beaters, beat until smooth.
I know I have mainly berry pictures, but it is super yummy on a nice piece of crusty bread with some chives sprinkled over
- Use fromage blanc instead of sour cream in your favorite recipe or dressing.
- Whey makes a terrific fertilizer for your plants: Unless you are going to use it for something else, don’t juts dump it, give it to your (indoor or outdoor) plants. The year I started making cheese, my fig tree had the most figs ever!
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