Yes, I found a recipe for lemon cheese and decided to give it a try. I think it's the simplest cheese I've made yet!Lemon Cheese
2 L whole milk (~1/2 US gallon) - I used store-bought pasteurized homogenized)
1/4 c fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1. Heat milk to 74C (165F).
2. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
3. Let sit for 15 minutes.
4. Strain through cheesecloth.
5. Tie into ball and drain in colander for 1 hour.
Store cheese in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
I got to the end of step three and the contents of my pot still looked basically like milk with just a few tiny curds floating on top. It didn't look like there was nearly enough curd formation to produce the pound of cheese that the recipe claimed it would. So I stirred in another couple tablespoons of lemon juice... boy was that dramatic! Instant change from white milk to greenish whey + curds! I wasn't sure whether I should let it sit for another 15 minutes after that or not.
In the end I just decided to drain it right away rather than wait. Next time (assuming I'm using the same type of milk) I'll add a bit more lemon juice from the get-go. Now I just need to figure out what to do with it!
I've been working my way through various fresh cheeses since I don't have much equipment right now and that gives me a nice, easy way to get started. As mentioned, paneer was my first, but in the last few weeks I've also made quark, cream cheese, yogurt cheese, (cultured) mascarpone, and cultured butter.
The paneer usually gets some sea salt and garam masala or balti masala mixed into the curds before I press it.
I found the quark delicious as it was and didn't bother adding any seasoning.
The cream cheese was split up and variously made into plain, garlic, and dill varieties.
The mascarpone went into tiramisu (which I'm really wishing I'd taken a picture of now).
The yogurt cheese was not my favourite and I'll probably not make it again unless I want drained yogurt for making a dip or sauce or something, but it worked pretty well with some peach preserves stirred in.
I'm just not quite sure what to do with the lemon cheese. It's got a consistency somewhat similar to the quark I made I guess, but it's got all the blandness of unflavoured paneer. It smells lemony, which is why I was wondering if I should try to accentuate the lemon flavour by adding lemon zest or extract or something. I just wasn't sure about adding both salt and lemon and I was also kind of curious as to whether anyone had tried turning their lemon cheese into a sweet dessert cheese. Anyway, I guess I'll just play around with it and see if I can manage something more palatable.
Wish me luck!
So I added ~1/2 tsp of coarse sea salt and grated in the zest of half a lemon and it tastes pretty nice now.
Also, after stirring it around a bit... the texture is something like a VERY dense and stiff quark.
I think this is a tolerably tasty cheese with some salt and seasonings added and it is very easy to make. However, I think I'll probably stick to quark and cream cheese for my soft cheese needs for now. I like the texture and flavour of those much better. I'm glad I gave lemon cheese a try anyway though.
Next up: Chevre!