Goat’s Milk Cheese

When we opened our Sfoglia restaurant on Nantucket, Colleen immediately began to look for a source for fresh milk to make her gelato. We had already established a relationship with Ray Owen, a local farmer from whom we got chicken eggs. Because Ray had been a dairy farmer on the mainland before he moved to the island, Colleen asked him if he knew anyone in Massachusetts who could supply fresh milk. His answer to that question came when he walked into our kitchen one day with the news that his sons, who had taken over his mainland farm, had sent him a female goat and he wanted to breed it. He wondered if we’d be interested in fresh goat’s milk. Colleen decided to adapt her gelato recipe for it. Pleased with the results, she began to experiment with making cheese. This, too, was a success. To meet our demand for more milk, Ray kept breeding goats.

Once we had this infallible recipe for goat’s milk cheese, we realized that the cheese, with its distinct tangy flavor and creamy texture, could be added to our ravioli and lasagne fillings and to cheese and vegetable terrines, and used as a garnish on everything from pastas to antipasti to side dishes. If you don’t have the time that’s required to make this recipe, substitute with a store-bought, soft goat’s milk cheese.

1 gallon fresh goat’s milk
¼ teaspoon powdered mesophilic DVI (see Resources, page 194)
1⁄16 teaspoon liquid mesophilic DVI (see Resources, page 194)

Editor's Note: Mesophilic DVI is a direct vat innoculant cheese culture which can be purchased from farm supply stores such as Leeners in Ohio.

Cheesecloth

1. Heat the goat’s milk in a large nonreactive saucepan over medium heat until the temperature reaches exactly 75°F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the heat.

2. Add the powdered and liquid mesophilic DVI to a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the warm goat’s milk to the bowl and thoroughly combine. Add the mixture to the rest of the milk in the saucepan. Let sit, covered and undisturbed, overnight.

3. Cut the set-up cheese into quarters. Completely cover a colander with a double layer of cheesecloth. Place the colander over a large bowl. Carefully pour the cheese quarters through the colander. Let sit until all the whey, or liquid, has been strained (see Note). Place the cheese in an airtight container.

STORAGE: The cheese can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks and in the freezer for up to 1 month.

NOTE: If the whey that you’ve collected is very cloudy, then you might try to make ricotta (see Variation). If not, discard.

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