Notes: Fresh goats milk is available at most natural food stores or through the goat-share program at J&M Dairy near Breen, http://jnmdairy.com.
Chèvre culture can be ordered from the New England Cheesemaking Supply Co., www.cheesemaking.com. This website also has more detailed instructions and variations on this recipe.
1 gallon fresh goats milk
1 packet chèvre culture
In a pot, warm the milk to 86 F. Add culture from packet, let sit a couple of minutes, then stir. Cover and let sit 6-12 hours at room temperature while curds form.
Ladle curds with a vented or slatted spoon into a strainer lined with a couple layers of cheesecloth. (Another option is to use a jelly strainer stand and cheesecloth-lined bag.
Collect the whey in a pot to use for various purposes, such as adding it to grains to feed chickens or pouring it in the garden to amend soil. Whey also can be used to ferment vegetables or bake bread, or just drink it plain.
Strain the curds for 6-12 hours (longer times produce drier, firmer cheese). Remove from cloth, then mix in 1-2 teaspoons of salt and refrigerate.
Chèvre can be stored in a large jar as crumbles or molded into a ball or log. Feel free to add herbs or other flavors, if desired.
Recipe courtesy of Katie Burford.