Making Kefir Cheese or "Grandma you could die!!"

On a recent post about my experience with making kefir at home, I mentioned that my next experiment would be using that kefir to make cheese.  My granddaughter was here, so thinking she might like to be involved, I told her about my plans.  I said, for Brie or Blue Cheese, we can scrape a bit of the mold off some purchased cheese, and use it to inoculate ours. When she heard that I would be MAKING CHEESE AT HOME, it seemed to terrify her.  I hardly knew what to say, I was so shocked by the reaction.  Of course, being on the cusp of teendom, she has been lecturing me on various subjects, so I should have been prepared.   "Grandma, don't you know there are thousands of bacteria out there, how are you going to know the mold is safe???  You could die!  I'm not eating any."  Grandma is known to live dangerously; eating mushrooms growing out in the wild, making wine and yes, cheese.

I have now, thanks to Dom's Kefir Cheese site, done a small batch of simple soft cheese, involving a very similar process to the feta and ricotta I've made, though with kefir, no rennet is necessary.  For breakfast we had a little omelette, into which I put some of that lovely cream cheese.  And, yes she wanted some.  Well probably because there was no mold, but sometimes it's useless to argue.  I will possibly be doing the mouldy ones, which will mean buying a larger quantity of milk.  It might be more practical if we had a cow or some goats around.  But, just for the experience, might be fun to try.

For this kefir cream cheese, all you do is line a deep bowl with your sterile (boiled) cloth (close-grained, such as handkerchief or pillowcase - cheesecloth is too open weave), pour in the kefir, then tie it up with some string and hang from a wooden spoon over a deep pot so that it is at least a few inches from the bottom.  Then the whey will drip out for 24 to 36 hours.  After that, just carefully scoop the cheese into a clean container.

P.S. I now just hang the bundle over a bowl, from the  hinge on one of my kitchen cupboards.  Easier even than rigging it over a wooden spoon.  That's it.  No boiling milk or rennet purchase needed.  This is almost too easy.

Another link with directions on making kefir and with good pictures, is here.

Delicious on little black sesame crackers, or the munch of your choice.  Also excellent in crepes with fresh fruit or a bit of blackberry jam.

Pile some onto a cranberry scone for your breakfast.

Going out to Hearth and Soul Blog Hop this week, so check out some good recipes and tips at Swathi's site.


Quay Po Cooks said...

Wow making your own cheese? I am impressed:D My mum will probably agree with your Grandma:D

Joanne said...

Aww it's kind of sweet that your granddaughter is so worried about you! But I love that you live on the wild side. that kefir cheese looks awesome!

Alea Milham said...

I like to live on the wild side too! :) Thank you for sharing your post with the Hearth and Soul Hop.

Simona said...

I think you are a patient grandmother: I would have lectured her about all the good bacteria which she carries around, not to mention the fact that sterile milk makes no cheese whatsoever, etc. What you did here is exactly what I did with my first batch of kefir (the one I made with freeze-dried kefir starter (before visiting you ;). Have you tried mixing fresh herbs with the drained kefir? I'll write more about this, but that's what I've been doing.

Claudia said...

Yes Simona I've added marjoram, salt and pepper to one just recently and we enjoyed that. More experiments to look forward to.

Sean said...

As your brother-in-law and new to Kefir, when I make the cream cheese do I make a batch of 12hr Kefir then put in the cloth or start it in the cloth in a bowel and drain after 12hrs?

Claudia said...

Sean, thanks for visiting my blog! I just use the kefir I've got in the fridge, which has gone 24 hours on the countertop already, before being refrigerated. But freshly made will be fine too. Then put into your cloth and drain at least 24 hours.