I made cheese, I really did! Mozzarella with lots of fresh thyme.
My friend Isobel is a very clever website designer, she does voodoo on websites that I can only scratch my technophobe head at. She’s going to make The View From the Table prettier soon… One of her clients is the rather wonderful Big Cheese Making Kit
who I begged for
suggested they let me trial one of their kits at home. They sent me a kit to make mozzarella and ricotta. I got busy on Sunday.
The kit includes everything you need, (bar the milk and a very, very big pan) to make cheese; citric acid, organic sea salt, vegetarian rennet, muslin (for the ricotta) and a thermometer. It was a really fascinating process.
In brief, this is how it’s made. There’s a full instruction card included too by the way..
Heat up eight pints of full fat milk in a huge pan, I didn’t have a large enough one so I used my preserving pan. Add citric acid and rennet. Cover and leave for 30 minutes. The curds and the whey separate and you cut up the curds.
Separate the curds and the whey
Add salt and place the curds in a microwaveable dish – there’s a method if you don’t have a microwave too.
After heating in the microwave, wearing rubber gloves as the cheese is very, very hot, knead it in a similar way to bread.
You’ll eventually end up with a huge ball of stretchy mozzarella.
We added fresh thyme to ours, it looked like this.
Guess what we had for tea?
Homemade pizza with artichokes, slices of aubergine, red onion and romano pepper. We cooked for five adults and two children and there’s still enough left for another meal later in the week.
I loved it, I’ve never even contemplated making cheese before but in less than an hour we had more fresh cheese then we really knew what to do with. It was a joint effort and we were all involved with the measuring and making process, out of curiosity I think. Telling you I went out on Saturday night, participated in a spectacular kitchen disco and made it home at 6am should give you an idea of just how easy it is.
The kits retail at £19 and you can choose from ricotta and mozzarella as I had or goat’s cheese. Each kit makes eight batches of approximately 2lbs of cheese and you can buy them here. It’s going to be a cheesy Christmas I think.