Here's the Fourme Recipe that I have used very successfully, even when I got the make wrong. I made it because it seemed a lot simpler than a Stilton for a relative beginner and I think that proved to be the case.
I'm never sure about instruction No.9 where it says to pierce the cheese after two days, and then, in No.11 to pierce again. However, I thought 'who am I to question an expert' so I have followed the instructions to the letter and the mould growth and distribution has been perfect so it works.
A labor of love for farmers in Auvergne, this cow’s milk cheese takes its name from the wooden mold (form) used to shape it into a cylinder about 8 inches high and 4 to 5 inches in diameter. Like Stilton, Fourme d’Ambert is lightly pressed and name-controlled. It is a pretty sight on a cheese platter with its marbled white interior and gray-brown crust. Enjoy this blue with the big French reds—Burgundy, Bordeaux, and Beaujolais. You will need a 2-pound tomme mold for this recipe.
Yield: about 2 pounds
2 gallons pasteurized whole milk
¼ teaspoon direct-set mesophilic culture or 4 tablespoons mesophilic mother culture
1/8 teaspoon Penicillium roqueforti
¼ teaspoon liquid rennet, diluted in ¼ cup unchlorinated water
1. Use a double-boiler or water bath to warm the milk to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring gently.
2. Add the P. roqueforti, and then add the culture. Let them dissolve on the milk’s surface for 5 minutes. Mix well from top to bottom using a skimmer.
3. Add the diluted rennet and stir gently for 1 minute. Cover and let set at 90 degrees Fahrenheit for 1½ hours or until the curd is firm and separates cleanly.
4. Cut the curd into ½-inch cubes, vertically and horizontally, in a grid pattern. Let them settle for 5 minutes.
5. Gently stir curd for 1 hour until the pieces shrink and firm up.
6. Pour off the whey to the level of the curd. Ladle curd into a sterilized, cloth-lined tomme mold. As the whey drains, you will need to top off the curd.
7. Place the mold in your cheese press and apply light pressure (5 to 10 pounds) for 1 hour. Remove the cheese from the press and the cloth from the cheese. Turn it over and rewrap it. Continue light pressure for 6 hours.
8. Remove the cheese from the press, unwrap it, and put it in a brine bath for 12 hours. Flip the cheese after 6 hours.
9. Dry the cheese on a rack for 2 days at room temperature. Pierce all the way through, horizontally and vertically, using a sterilized needle or another tool.
10. Place the cheese on a clean mat in a ripening container. Age at 50 degrees Fahrenheit and 90 percent humidity. Turn the cheese daily and wipe up any whey that has drained (excessive moisture will interfere with proper mold growth).
11. After 1 week, pierce the cheese all the way through, horizontally and vertically, per the instructions on page 138. This allows oxygen to reach the cheese center and facilitates veining of the mold. Turn the cheese daily.
12. After 2 weeks, a bluish moldy crust will begin to form. Continue to ripen for 1 month, at which time it’s ready to eat. Wrap it and store it in the fridge.