instead of packing

Look at that face!

Tonight is one of four nights between my San Diego stay and my Haverford departure, so spending time with my brother was also a priority. Solution? Make goat cheese with Johnny. kiss my spatula has an absolutely gorgeous blog post about making homemade goat cheese that inspired me to make some myself. I made some in the past with condensed goat’s milk – mistake. This one came out so much better.

As we looked at the recipe on, we found out that the blogger pairs her recipes with songs. The goat cheese pairing was a Yann Teirsen song from the Amelie soundtrack, one that my brother is learning how to play on the piano. How perfect!

Goat Cheese with Lemon, Herbs, and Pine Nuts

1 qt. goat’s milk (we got ours at Trader Joe’s)
1/4 c. lemon juice, or the juice of three medium-large lemons
2 tsp. lemon zest
2 tbsp. pine nuts, finely chopped
1 tsp. herbes de Provence
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper

Place several layers of cheese cloth in a medium-sized mesh strainer resting in a bowl.

Heat the goat’s milk to 180° (measured with a candy thermometer) in a saucepan over low heat. While it is heating, zest the lemon, and squeeze the juice into a measuring cup until you have over one-quarter cup. Be careful to attend to the milk, though, because you don’t want it to surpass that temperature because it may start to boil or even caramelize. Once the appropriate temperature has been reached, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.

Let it sit for 15-20 seconds. This time allows it to curdle. You can let it sit for more time; in fact, I chopped the pine nuts together with the lemon zest, herbs, and salt for about a minute while letting the lemon juice and the warm milk mix n’ mingle.

Pour the liquid conglomerate into the cheese cloth-lined strainer. As it strains, a very watery, clear liquid should strain, leaving the curdled cheese behind. If it strains through very fast and cloudy, you can return the mixture to the saucepan and repeat the process, adding more lemon juice once the temperature has reached 180°.

Let it sit for 1-2 hours, or until it reaches your desired consistency. Gather the cheese cloth ends in a bundle, and squeeze the remaining water out. Then, transfer goat cheese off the cheese cloth into a bowl.

Mix in the flavorings, and eat.

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2 responses to “instead of packing

  1. Hey Genna-

    What are the differences between using rennet and lemon juice to turn the milk? Also… I always thought cheese, even goat, needed to sit at least over night in order to properly cure/set/whatever… Did it actually taste good after a couple hours?

    • After reading the Wikipedia page about goat cheese, I found out that normally goat cheese is made by allowing the cheese to naturally curdle without any coagulating agent. Rennet coagulates using the enzymes produced in baby animal stomachs to break down their mother’s milk. Since goat milk has a different make-up than cow’s milk (hence why it is better for those with mild lactose intolerance), one would use kid goat rennet to make goat cheese. Acid, found in the lemon juice I added, is a suitable alternative. The purpose of adding anything is so that the cheese curds separate from the liquid whey, and the acid does this perfectly fine.

      Regarding your comment about taste vs. time, the cheese tasted okay even as it was draining. The biggest issue was that it was warmer than room temperature and not cold, how I prefer my goat cheese. After we let it sit in the bowl by itself and tasted it again, it was very good. And with our add-ins, it was excellent. It has been in the refrigerator over night, so it will be my ideal temperature when I let it sit for for a few minutes and have some this afternoon.

      Thanks for reading. See you at school.

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