If you've always wanted to make homemade cheese, then Farmers Cheese is where you start! It's very easy to make, with only 2 ingredients! Popular in Eastern European and Middle Eastern recipes.
What are Fresh Cheeses?
There are many different ways to make fresh cheeses, and they’re called by many names from different cultures. Farmers Cheese is a curd cheese, similar to a cottage cheese. This Farmers Cheese is known as, and can be substituted for these cheeses.
- Tvorog (творог)
- Gvina Levana
- Cottage Cheese
This is the easiest way to make cheese for beginners, you're going to love it!
Russian and Slavic families have been making this soft and tasty cheese made for centuries. Traditional Tvorog is made by fermenting raw milk with cultures, making a naturally sour and tart cheese. It's full of probiotics and health benefits, and takes days to make. It's also a bit more tangy and sour than this Farmers cheese recipe.
Although not quite mainstream yet, Tvorog can be found in specialty grocery stores in Australia. It's more commonly found in North America and Europe. However, it's so easy to make, you don't need to buy it!
How Do You Make Farmers Cheese?
This is an easy tvorog shortcut recipe to bypass the naturally souring curdling process simply by adding a souring agent. Heat up whole milk (full cream milk) in a stock pot, careful not to burn the milk. Add the acid to start the curdling process.
In my recipe I use lemons, as my lemon tree seems to give me unending lemons. It's also really common to use white vinegar as the curdling agent. I find that the leftover whey from vinegar is harsher than if using lemons. It also tastes better when using lemons instead of vinegar.
After you add the lemons, the curds form in the pot, and you've made cheese! Allow the milk to cool before you strain, so you don't burn yourself. You'll need a cheesecloth lined in a colander to separate the curds and whey. Tie up the cheesecloth with the curds, and hang up to drip dry the liquids. Farmers Cheese tastes milder than traditional tvorog, but still as tasty.
Leftover Whey Uses
Don't throw away the leftover whey! In case you're wondering, whey is what's leftover when you remove the cheese. Think of it as cheese juice! 😂 It has vitamins and minerals in it, and would be a waste to throw away. You can even freeze leftover whey to use for later recipes.
My favorite way to use leftover whey is by making Blini Crepes. It adds a bit of sourness and depth to blini. You could make homemade bread, just substitute some of the liquids with whey. Add it to your morning smoothie, add some to your soup broth, or make pancakes for breakfast.
What Do I Use for Farmers Cheese?
Farmer's Cheese is most commonly made with whole cow's milk. You need the full fat content, so don't use Skim Milk when making this cheese. You can even add buttermilk with regular milk as well. Some people also use goat's milk or sheep's milk. Each milk will impact the flavor in it's own way. Plant based milk products, like Almond Milk and Soy, won't work when making Farmers Cheese.
What Can You Make with Farmer's Cheese?
Farmers Cheese Tvorog is very common in Russian and Ukrainian cooking. Here are some of my favorite Tvorog recipe ideas.
- Goose's Feet Cookies are make with Tvorog, and resemble geese feet
- Vareniki are pierogi dumplings that are stuffed with Farmers Cheese
- Blintzes are crepes that are stuffed with cheese and rolled
- Syrniki are Fried Cheese Pancakes popular for breakfast
- Vatrushka is a sweet cheese yeast pastry bun
- Paskha Cheesecake which is popular at Easter
- Shanezhki - similar to a Vatrushka
- Drizzle with honey and fruit as a snack
- Spread it over toast or bagels
- Use it in dips for appetizers
- Baked with cream cheese in a cheesecake
If you've ever wanted to make your own homemade cheese, this Farmers Cheese recipe is where you start! The perfect introduction the cheesemaking. Plus it will be made quicker than running to the grocery store to buy or finding a substitute. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- 1 gallon /4 litres of milk whole or full cream
- a pinch of salt
- juice of 2 large lemons about ⅔ cup
- Put the milk into a large pot with a lid, and add a pinch of salt.
- Heat the milk on medium high heat, stirring occasionally to avoid burning. When the milk begins to start to boil (small bubbles appear at the edges of the pan), remove from heat.
- Remove from stove and add the lemon juice into the hot milk and stir.
- Allow the curdled mixture to cool, for about 15 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, place a colander lined with cheesecloth ready for the tvorog mixture.
- Carefully pour the mixture into the lined colander. The curds stay in the cheesecloth and the whey in the bowl.
- Tie the muslin into a knot to drain. Hang on a faucet over the sink for at least 4 hours, or on a kitchen cupboard handle with a bowl underneath, but best in the colander in the fridge overnight (or until you are happy with the consistency of the tvorog).
- Reserve some whey in a glass jar and refrigerate for future use in breads or crepes.
- Untie the cheesecloth and enjoy your Farmers Cheese!