Hello, my friends! This week, I invited Kirstin Jackson, prolific cheese writer from It’s Not You, It’s Brie fame and San Francisco Bay Area cheese making instructor, to share some of her talents with us. She showed me how to make paneer, the delectable South Indian fresh cheese, and even left her recipe so we can all try it at home! That said, if making it on your own is too tough, give her a call so she can teach you herself!
Recipe adapted from Kitchen Creamery by Louella Hill [affiliate link]
Makes about ¾ lb.
1 gallon unhomogenized milk
¼ cup + 1 ½ Tablespoon fresh lemon juice, strained
Digital kitchen thermometer [affiliate link]
Stainless steel pot
- Clean everything: all your work surfaces and equipment. Rinse the cheesecloth in hot water and wring it out. Line a colander with the cheesecloth, and set it aside in the sink.
- Pour the milk into a heavy-bottomed stockpot and warm it over medium-high heat (to 195°F), stirring all the while. The milk will become frothy on top, and will near boiling.
- Once at the correct temperature, remove the pot from heat, and add ¼ cup of lemon juice. Stir very slowly for one minute. Chunks of curd should appear immediately.
- If the milk does not start separating into white clumps and greenish whey immediately, add 1 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice.
- Bring the pot to the sink. Add cold tap water to the pot to cool them down to 115° Be careful not to lose curds as you add water to the pot.
- Pour the cooled curds and whey to the colander and drain the curds for one minute. Then gather the corners of the cloth, and tie them together to form a pouch.
- Twist the pouch to wring out more whey, then open the cheese cloth to flip the cheese upside down. Tie the cheesecloth into a pouch again.
- Hang the pouch on a long-handled spoon set under the knots or from the faucet. Let it drain for ½ hour.
- After draining, press the cheese pouch between two dinner plates and a 5 lb. weight for 1 hour.
Notes: Paneer does not melt because of its acidity levels. It is also a vegetarian cheese. Additionally, because there is no salt used in the make, it must be consumed quickly. I’ve found it should be consumed in no more than 5 days.
As she made the paneer, Kirstin told me that she’s made a big leap—she’s now teaching cheesemaking classes full-time in the San Francisco Bay Area. Given that we both thoroughly enjoyed every step of cheesemaking together, down to the last bite, I can affirm that she’s a talented maker and teacher!
If you would like to take a class with Kirstin, reserve a private cheesemaking class, or read her book It’s Not You, It’s Brie [affiliate link], visit Kirstin’s website for information about all of this!
Thank you, Kirstin, for sharing your time, your talent, and your cheese with me! You continue to inspire me with your work!
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