Goat cheese (also known as chèvre) is an alternative to cheese made with cow's milk. Some people prefer the taste of goat cheese while others enjoy the health benefits: Goat cheese is lower in fat and calories while still being flavourful. If you are lactose intolerant, goat cheese can be easier to digest and cause less gastric problems. Still, goat cheese can be expensive, so if you have access to goat milk, try making it at home.
In a large pan, heat a half gallon of goat's milk to between 85-88 degrees C. This step takes on particular importance if you are using unpasteurised milk because it may contain harmful bacteria normally removed during the pasteurisation process. Remove the pan from the heat and let the milk cool to about 100 degrees. Check the temperatures with your thermometer to make sure that they are accurate.
Add the juice of two small lemons to the milk. Stir for several minutes until the milk has curdled. You will start to see curds in the milk that resembled cottage cheese. If you do not, add more lemon juice and continue to stir. Add up to 1/2 tbsp of coarse salt, depending on how you want your cheese to taste.
Ladle the curds out of the pan into the cheesecloth. Once you've contained all of the curds in the cloth, tie the cloth at the top. You will need to hang this tied cloth over a bowl for several hours in the refrigerator to allow the whey to drip out of the curds.
Discard the resulting whey that has dripped into the bowl.
Remove the curds from the cloth. Now you have basic goat cheese. Let it sit for a day in the fridge before tasting. You can also add more salt or additional flavourings such as spices and herbs to your cheese.
Fresh goat milk will give you the best flavour. Look for it at a local farm or natural food store.
Tips and warnings
- Fresh goat milk will give you the best flavour. Look for it at a local farm or natural food store.