Making Cottage Cheese

Thought I would also give a picture tutorial on making cottage cheese. I read how to make cottage cheese from several different sources and the process involved standing over a hot stove and carefully monitoring the heat of the curds and whey as it cooked. Through trial and error, I finally came up with the following method for making cottage cheese.

First you need to clabber your milk. I do this by taking my raw milk either directly from the cow (after straining to remove any impurities) or from milk that has been refrigerated. You can use milk with or without the cream. I pour the milk into stainless steel bowles and then cover loosely and allow to sit until it clabbers. Sometimes this takes 24 hours and sometimes, if the weather is cooler, it takes up to three days. The first picture shows what the milk will be like when it clabbers. It will form a solid mass in the bowle and when you touch it, it will be kind of "springy". When the clabber has set up, I then bring clean water almost to a boil and then pour the water over the clabber in the stainless bowl and allow this mixture of clabber and very hot water to sit for 10 minutes. You will want to use a spoon and break up the clabber so that the hot water can get to the curds to cook them. The water clabber and water mixture should be the temperature of a very warm bath that you have to inch into ever so slowly. In other words you should be able to put your hand in the mixture without scalding yourself, but when you do so, you should think "Wow, that is really hot!"

After the clabber and hot water sit for ten minutes, drain the mixture through a strainer. You can save the whey (the watery part) and use it to feed your chickens, cook with it, or water your garden with it, if you like. What is left are the curds. They will only be partially cooked and very soft.

Now you want to take the remaining very hot water that you have heated and pour it over the curds and let it run out of the strainer. As the heat hits the curds they will begin to heat up and cook very quickly. This part requires a little trial and error to know when the curds are right. With time and experimentation, you will be able to tell when the curds are cooked and at that point you want to rinse with very cold water until the curds are completely cooled down. If you do not cool the curds down, they will continue to cook and even melt (and that makes a big mess, as I know from experience!)

In the end, your cooked curds will look like the following picture. You then allow them to drain for about 30 minutes to get all the water out. Salt to taste and store in the refrigerator. You can add a little cream or milk back to the curds before eating, if you like a moist cottage cheese. I prefer to eat mine dry. I like it in my salad, and on my baked potatoes and I use it in my lasagna.



Anonymous said...

Hi Tammy,
How many gallons do you use to get how many pounds of cheese? Don't worry, I'll do the metric conversions myself!!

Tammy Renee' Cupp said...

I don't have an accurate amount, Heidi, but I am going to guess it's around 1 lb for gallon. I tend to make about three gallons at a time.

signmama said...

Hi, can i make cottage cheese using this method but with goat milk instead of cow milk? Anything I would have to do differently?

The Cupp Family Farm said...

I have not made cottage cheese using goats milk but I see no reason why you would have to do anything differently. If you try it, please let me know how it turns out!


Sarah Alston Allen said...

Do you use a starter from a previous batch of clabber to speed things along?

T. Cupp said...

Sarah, usually I do not use a starter for my clabber but I do advise for folks to use one who have a difficult time getting their clabber started!

Anonymous said...

I made cottage cheese for the first time using your instructions. Thank you so much! I got 1.5 pounds dry cottage cheese (no milk or cream added back in) from 1 gallon milk. I used 1/2 cup buttermilk to make the clabber and used store-bought milk.

Anonymous said...

I have been using this recipe for the last couple months. I have my own milk cow. I am so glad to be able to use clabber instead of buying a culture. This is a great recipe, Thank you!!! My husband LOVES this cottage cheese. I usually use 1 1/2- 2 gallons raw-clabbered milk. I am still not totally sure about the time in the second rinse with cooking the curds but it has worked out. I do salt it and add cream, so it is moist but not sloppy. Thank you again for posting this- awesome!!'