Thursday, March 29, 2012

Homemade Lemon Cheese

Last weekend I decided to try a homemade cheese recipe because:
  1. I love cheese and the recipe sounded tasty.
  2. I recently read the book "The Urban Farm Handbook" and the authors have a blog site that I frequent for tips on "eating growing, raising and preparing your own food."  They have a monthly challenge and March's challenge was dairy.
  3. I'm a foodie and love learning more about foods and processes!
Now back to the cheese.

The recipe for this challenge can be found at: Eating Rules Cheesemaking Challenge and is pasted below.
Lemon Cheese

This is a soft, ricotta-like cheese, reminiscent of the “Farmer Cheese” my grandmother used to bring us when she visited from the Bronx. This recipe is from Ricki Carroll’s Home Cheese Making.


◦1/2 gallon Whole Milk (2% will work, but produce a drier cheese)  (I used raw milk purchased from Lavon Farms in Plano, Texas)

◦Juice of 2-3 Lemons, approximately 1/4 to 1/2 cup

◦Approx. 1/2 tsp. Cheese Salt (any salt will do)

◦Finely chopped Herbs, such as chives, oregano, or lavender (optional)


1.In a large pot over medium-low heat, gently bring the milk to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to stir frequently to keep from scalding the milk.

2.Turn off the heat. Add about 1/4 cup of lemon juice and stir well. Let sit for 15 minutes.

3.After waiting, the milk should be curdled, and the whey (the liquid) should be clear. If it’s still milky/cloudy, add more lemon juice, stir gently, and give it a few more minutes. Depending on the acidity of the lemon juice, it may take quite a bit more. It won’t hurt to use more, but if you use more than necessary, the final result will have a stronger lemon flavor.

4.Line a colander with butter muslin and gently pour the curds into it. Allow it to drain for a few minutes, and then tie the corners of the muslin together to form a bag.

5.Hang the curds to drain. I use a twist-tie and rubber-band combination to hook the bag over the kitchen faucet.

6.Allow to drain for 1-2 hours, until it stops dripping and has firmed up a bit. (If you’re in a hurry you can speed the process somewhat by squeezing the bag gently from the top down).

7.Remove the cheese and mix in the salt and herbs to taste.

8.Ricki says to store the cheese in the fridge for 1-2 weeks, but I guarantee it’ll be gone long before then.


This recipe can be easily doubled.

Heating the milk

Wrapping cheese in cheese cloth

Letting the cheese drain

Homemade Lemon Cheese with Chives!

Husband, son, and college daughter liked the cheese. I did too. The chives complimented the cheese nicely and the taste of lemon was not over powering even though I had to had additional lemon juice.  I enjoyed this challenge and after making this recipe, I clearly understand what curds and whey are.  I think I may try some homemade Mozzarella Cheese soon, and possibly  Easy Homemade Yogurt.


  1. Hi :) Visiting from the UFHC. Looks like your cheese came out great. Hope you get to try the homemade yogurt soon, I've been making it for years, and refuse to buy the store bought stuff anymore.

  2. It was fun and interesting Leddy.

    Hi April. Love your website/blog! I think I will try yogurt soon based on your recommendation and my new interest in dairy projects! I also feed my hens yogurt (weekly organnic supplement). I have read that it helps their digestive track too.