- Digital thermometer
- Mixing bowl
- Heavy-bottom stainless steel pot
- Large whisk
- Slotted spoon
- 1 2-lb cheese mold or 2 1-lb cheese molds
- 1 gallon organic pasteurized whole milk non- UHT)
- ½ teaspoon single strength liquid animal or vegetable rennet
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Begin by heating the milk. Pour milk into a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Stir the milk until cream dissolves in milk.
- Warm over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until milk reaches 109°F (about 18 minutes) making sure to not overheat the milk.
- Remove from heat, and thoroughly whisk in the rennet. Cover pot, and let stand for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, check the consistency of the curd by using a small knife to pierce the surface. It should be set like firm custard.
- Using a large metal whisk, cut the curd into approximately 1/4-inch pieces. Let stand until curds sink to bottom of the pot, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, line a colander with damp cheesecloth (with enough overhang cloth to tie the ends together to form a bag), and set inside a large bowl.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer curds to colander.
- Gather corners of cheesecloth, and lift with one hand while gently squeezing curds in cheesecloth with other hand to drain thoroughly. This will take 8-10 minutes.
- Return to the colander, and let drain for another 10 minutes. Then, discard whey.
- With clean hands, open cheesecloth, and transfer cheese to a medium bowl.
- Break open cheese ball, and sprinkle with salt. Gently mix, breaking up cheese until salt is well incorporated.
- Line the cheese molds with damp cheesecloth, allowing excess to drape over sides.
- Add curds to mold, pressing to fill evenly.
- Fold cheesecloth over top, and press to expel remaining whey. Let stand 10 minutes.
- Unmold cheese, flip, and return to cheesecloth-lined mold (the bottom will now be the top). Press cheese gently to set shape (a large can of tomatoes or beans works well as a weight for this).
- Transfer mold to a rimmed baking sheet, and chill at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours before unmolding.
- Unmold cheese, and serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Cut into wedges or crumble before serving.
Tips & Notes
Nutrition FactsServing Size: 1/12 Calories: 178 Sugar: 4 Sodium: 138 Fat: 14 Carbohydrates: 4 Fiber: 0 Protein: 10 Cholesterol: 31
Category: CheeseMethod: No BakeCuisine: Latin
Keywords: queso fresco