My homemade farmer’s cheese recipe is easy, delicious, and versatile! Learn how to make it and how to use it.
I’ve been dying to get into cheesemaking, but it’s a craft that takes a long time to perfect. Thankfully, there are a few cheese recipes that are easy, even for beginners!
Farmer’s cheese is the absolute easiest cheese you can make at home with minimal tools.
Even better, it’s delicious and versatile. It can be used as a ricotta substitute, enjoyed as a spread, or even eaten plain. Even my picky 2-year-old enjoys snacking on my farmer’s cheese with a few crackers!
I love that I can make it on a whim, too. If I get a hankering for it, I simply grab an extra gallon of milk at the store and it’s usually all I need to go home and make some delicious cheese! I look forward to the day I have farm fresh raw milk to make this recipe, but until then, store-bought milk will have to do.
Homemade Farmer’s Cheese Recipe
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- 1 Gallon of Milk (it doesn’t matter if it’s raw or pasteurized. Whole milk makes the best tasting cheese, but you can use 2% or skim milk too)
- 1/2 cup of Lemon Juice, Apple Cider Vinegar, or White Vinegar (I use a mix of fresh lemon juice and ACV)
- Salt, Pepper & Herbs To Taste (I typically use chives, garlic powder, and parsley)
- 1 or 2 Large Pots
- *If you’re keeping the whey (which you should!) you’ll need a few mason jars and a funnel
1. Heat Milk To A Boil
In a large pot, heat the milk on medium-high heat until it’s at a rolling boil. Be sure to stir continuously to avoid scorching!
2. Quickly Turn The Heat Off and Add Lemon Juice, ACV, or White Vinegar
Once the milk is boiling, turn off the heat and quickly add your lemon juice, ACV, or white vinegar.
Be careful! It can easily overflow and make a huge mess!
The pot I use to make this farmer’s cheese is a standard large pot, and it usually overflows once I add the acidic ingredient. For that reason, I immediately move the pot to the sink before adding my lemon juice and apple cider vinegar!
If your pot is large enough, this won’t be an issue for you!
3. The Milk Will Immediately Separate/Curdle
After adding your acidic ingredient, you should immediately see the milk curdle and separate into curds and whey. Stir it around a bit.
4. Line A Colander With Cheesecloth
Line a colander with cheesecloth and place it in the sink. Using a wooden spoon, add the curds to the colander and add salt, pepper, and herbs.
5. *If You’re Keeping The Whey* – Strain The Whey Into Mason Jars
You can strain the whey into another pot to get the rest of the curds out, or you can do what I do:
Place a small piece of cheesecloth over the top of a mason jar, then add the ring to hold it in place. Allow enough slack for it to hold the bits of curds that are still in the pot.
Put a canning funnel on top of the mason jar and pour the whey in.
I recommend keeping the whey! I’ll write an article about it’s various uses, but a quick Google search will show why it’s worth the extra step.
6. Hang or Press Your Farmer’s Cheese
After mixing the herbs, salt, and pepper into the cheese, grab the sides of the cheesecloth and twist to squeeze out the remaining whey.
Then, hang the cheesecloth on a cabinet with a large bowl underneath to catch the whey as it drips. Alternatively, you can place the cheese and cheesecloth on a dish and put something heavy on top of it to press your cheese.
Don’t over-press or allow it to hang for too long or it will dry out! It takes some experimentation to get it just right. I tend to over-press, so I prefer the hanging method. I usually allow it to hang for about an hour to an hour and a half.
7. Shape or Crumble Your Cheese and Refrigerate
I prefer to leave my farmer’s cheese in whatever form it takes while hanging, with a bit of pressing at the end. Some people serve their farmer’s cheese crumbled. Either way, it’s delicious!
Wrap the cheese in a beeswax wrap, wax paper, or an airtight container and refrigerate. Enjoy!
I recommend eating your farmer’s cheese within 5-7 days. It doesn’t usually last that long in our house, though! Use it as a spread on bagels and toast, or slice it and eat on crackers.
Farmer’s Cheese can also be used as a ricotta substitute in lasagna! Or, if you’re a super cheese-lover, you just eat it plain or with some fruit and honey! Though I’d suggest not adding chives if you plan on eating it in sweet dishes.
Have you ever made farmer’s cheese at home? What herbs do you like to use? If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below or snap a picture and tag me on Instagram and use the hashtag #homesteadmamamovement.
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