Fromage Blanc (cheese)
Fromage Blanc is a fresh, easy-to-make cheese. Of French origin, its name simply means "white cheese" and it makes an excellent cheese spread with herbs and spices added to it. It can also be used by itself as a substitute for cream cheese or ricotta in cooking.
How to Make Fromage Blanc (cheese)
- Take 1 quart of whole milk and very slowly heat it up, stirring, in a heavy-bottomed pot.
Bring this up to 175 degrees F.
Use a little thermometer, when you see the steam starting to rise, and there are little tiny bubbles forming on the side, that means you are getting close.
Keep watch on the thermometer until 175 degrees is reached.
- At 175 degrees, add the buttermilk and the lemon juice. Turn off the heat.
In just a few seconds, just like magic, it separates into curds and whey. Whey is the liquid, curds are the solids.
Let that sit undisturbed for 10 minutes.
- While it's sitting get the cheesecloth ready (I use two thicknesses), lined in a colander, over a bowl. Ladle in the cheese curds.
The whey is going to drain through and you're going to let it sit for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes has passed, pick up the edges and form a bundle. Tie it with a string and use a wooden spoon to hang it over a stockpot.
- Let that sit for a half-hour.
The whey is going to drain through and what you are left with is cheese. That's fresh homemade cheese!
You are going to get about a cup. Salt that with 3/4 tsp and give it a mix to stir the salt in, and break up some of the curds.
- Pack the cheese into a ramekin.
Wrap it well with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to develop the flavor.
You can eat it fresh if you want, but I think leaving it overnight gives it a great texture.
It's going to be kind of a cross between cream cheese and ricotta.
- Serve it simply with olive oil, pepper and some chives. Or you can make a beautiful cheese plate. You can use this anyway you use cream cheese, or cottage cheese, or ricotta. It's very versatile; you can mix herbs with it, or garlic, and make spreads.