COMFORT FOODS (100)
SOUR CREAM LOVERS (45)
|EVERY FEW MINUTES|
3 or more qts. milk, depending on quantity desired
Sweet cream or rich milk
1/4 rennet tablet (optional)
Put fresh milk in a container with loose fitting lid, or cover with cloth. After about six hours, skim all cream from the top. Keep the cream in the refrigerator to be used later. Leave the milk in a warm room until it forms a thick clabber.
If using rennet, dissolve it in 2 tablespoons lukewarm water and stir into the milk before leaving it set. The rennet makes the milk sour faster and saves time, but is not necessary. In some foreign countries, this is sold at drug stores.
It usually takes milk about 24 hours or more to set well. With rennet it will be less time depending some on the warmth of the room. The curd should be sour tasting, but not bitter or strong. When it is ready, you will see the whey separated around the edge of the curd.
Put the curd with part of the whey into a double boiler or a heavy kettle and heat slowly (do not boil). Turn the curd over a few times with a large spoon so that it heats all the way through. Heat about 15 minutes until the curd is formed in cheese like clots and the whey is well separated from the cheese. The whey will be slightly yellowish, but the curd will be white and in soft lumps.
Place a piece of cheesecloth in a colander, or use any soft thin piece of cloth. I am using a worn net curtain. The colander may be set in the sink or over a bowl if you wish to save the whey. Pour the curd and whey carefully into the cloth and let drain a few minutes, then pour cool filtered water over it until the whey is all washed out. This is important to have a good fresh tasting cheese. Let it drain in the cloth without squeezing until semi-dry. Break it up into small pieces and mix lightly with cream or rich milk. Salt to taste. You may use the cream skimmed from the top, but be sure it is sweet. Or mix skimmed milk if you are on a diet. The dry curd before mixing can be frozen, but is not as good.
One cup of the sour milk from each setting can be used to start a new quantity in place of the rennet. The milk will then be ready much faster.
Note: Pasteurized milk needs rennet or cheese starter to help it sour.
P.S. Many people like to drink the whey cold as a diet drink. It can also be mixed with skimmed powdered milk for recipes using sour milk. The skimmed cream can be churned in the blender.
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