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Musings. Family. Food. Stories. Cooking. Recipes. Eating. A recipe journal. From simple Filipino dishes to challenging recipes and exciting gastronomical failures. This is for my girls to look back on for comfort, memories, laughs, love and lots of food!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Clotted cheese

hanging by a thread :)

I first read about home made queso blanco from a former office colleague S and promised to try and make the same at home.  And then just a few weeks back, NQN posted a recipe for home made ricotta cheese.  Both bookmarked and tucked away for some future kitchen episodes.  
Cheese is a universal and versatile ingredient – it goes with sweets and savoury dishes.  Great as entrée’s, in soups, topped or mixed into meat and seafood dishes, in cakes and desserts and even in ice cream!  But it goes without saying that cheese making, or making cheese from scratch is an art.  Like artisan bread making, it entails dedication and passion and skill.   So it was a surprise when clotted cheese was in the menu for entrée for Lesson 4 on Prepare, Cook and Serve Food in Kitchen 11 (we're moving kitchens this term, but Kitchen 10 is close to my heart)  this week   It’s a simple recipe.  2 ingredients + 3+ hours waiting time.  Milk and vinegar together, curdles and becomes cheese!  Don’t we all know that already?! Yeah, right.  Of course.  Its not rocket science, is it?

To make this simple clotted cheese:

2 litres milk
200ml white wine vinegar

Heat the milk to a tepid 35°C.  Add the vinegar and let it sit for 20 seconds.  Stir slowly with a spatula and let the milk curdle.

Using a muslin cloth placed over a large bowl, pour the milk and let it drain.  Knot the ends of the muslin cloth and using kitchen twine, tie it on a wooden spoon handle.  Suspend over a deep dish or tray and let the liquid drain from the cheese for 3 hours or more.  The cheese is ready when it is firm.

* You can drain for more than 3 hours for a firmer cheese.

The milk + vinegar mixture = cheese, after 3 hours.  Slightly firm with that texture from the muslin cloth.

The result was a slightly sour cheese that was almost ricotta like.  As the basic cheese was not seasoned as per the recipe, Chef just tossed a few herbs (finely chopped chervil and thyme), salt and pepper, and it completely changed the cheese.  We topped it over the day’s entrée of Caramelised Onion Tartlets - which shall be for another post.

Crumbled clotted cheese seasoned with salt and pepper and chopped herbs

Would I make my own cheese at home?  Probably when it calls for impressing someone - like when my in-laws from overseas fly for a visit?    Otherwise, I'm a simple cheese kinda gal.  I love provolone cheese in my pasta, some gruyere with crackers and chutney, some ricotta and feta for that attempt with the Greek spanakopita  and gorgonzola for those once in a blue moon cravings.  I’m not a cheese aficionado, but I do love them when they come in simple form, i.e. a block of tasty cheese.  But that's just me.  There's still hope of course, before that "under the Tuscan sun" retirement.  If that's ever going to happen.   Meanwhile, why don't you try making this at home?  It's easy and afterward, you can add home made cheese to your list of culinary repertoire.

Caramelised onion tartlet with clotted cheese and roasted tomatoes


  1. Yum yum, I have some caramelised onions in the fridge, thanks for the inspiration!

  2. My fiance's grandmother used to make homemade queso fresco for his as a child. I have always been afraid to try because I thought it was so complicated and difficult. Thank you for sharing!



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