As if having a newborn and 4 other blessings was not enough, we decided to become proud Jersey milking cow owners.
Month after month, we were spending more than we liked on pastured milk, yogurt, cheese, cream, butter, etc. So, we prayed, scoured Craigslist as well as Tennessee Jersey registries, and put the bug in many of our friends' ears regarding obtaining a milk cow.
4 weeks after baby Amos was born, a local family called us regarding a registered Jersey they had for sale. And the rest is history.
We love our wonderful Blossom! My husband and kids milk her, and I reap the fruit of Blossom's good pasture grazing by being creative with our many gallons of milk. One of my experiments has been in making various flavors of yogurt cheese.
Since I am nursing a little one and homeschooling, time is not on my side. I needed a simple way to make cheese and add some variety to it as well.
So here you are: the easiest cheese to make, requiring little working time and effort.
Easy Yogurt Cheese Ball
- 2 quarts homemade yogurt (or kefir)
- 90-count cheesecloth
- rubber band
- 1/2 gallon mason jar
- about 1 to 2 days of patiently waiting 🙂
Tuck the cheesecloth into the mason jar, so it's making a net inside that reaches about 1/4 to 1/3 the way down. Rubber band the cheesecloth at the rim of the jar to hold it in place.
Slowly pour as much yogurt as you can in the cheesecloth so that the whey will drip into the bottom of the mason jar.
Check the yogurt in about an hour or so (by then it will have descended a bit into the jar). Add more yogurt and keep doing so until all the yogurt is in the cheesecloth.
Flip the loose ends of cheesecloth up and over the top — to keep the dust and bugs off while it continues to drip out.
Patiently wait 1 to 2 days for the whey to be extracted and a pliable yogurt cheeseball to form. To avoid the yogurt cheese getting more sour than you prefer, you can move it to the fridge.
When it's done, put the cheeseball in the fridge, and then think about your additions! See below.
Here are two variations of the yogurt cheese that we cannot get enough of. Both can be made in advance and are so easy!
Honey Hazelnut Yogurt Cheese Ball
- 3/4 cup hazelnuts (preferably soaked)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons butter
- sea salt, to taste
- 1 to 2 tablespoons raw honey
Chop the hazelnuts finely. Melt butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Fry the hazelnuts in the butter (don't let them burn!). Remove from heat. Salt to taste. Let cool a bit, then add honey and mix. Refrigerate until cool. Spread nut mixture on a plate, then roll the cold yogurt cheese ball all over so it will get a good coating of nuts. Place in the center of a serving platter with sourdough bread, crackers, and/or fruit around it.
Onion and Garlic Yogurt Cheese
- 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- sea salt, to taste
Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Fry onions and garlic until soft, a few minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Gently mix onions and garlic into cheese. Add sea salt, to taste, and mix in. Form cheese into a ball. Serve with sourdough bread, crackers, and/or veggies.
Do you love a good cheese ball? What are your favorite easy things to do with excess milk?
Love homemade cultured dairy? Check out Traditional Cooking School and our Cultured Dairy eCourse — make your own yogurt, sour cream, cultured butter, easy cheeses, and more!
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