Do-It-Yourself Farmer’s Cheese

25 Mins Prep16 Hours Total1 1/2 Cups of Cheese
“This is a very easy and delicious way to use up extra buttermilk. The cheese can be flavored with a little salt, or chives and black pepper, and is lovely crumbled in salads or sweetened and spread on toast.” —Alice


3 cups Buttermilk

Salt & Pepper (optional)

Olive Oil (optional)

Country Sourdough Bread (optional)

Step 1

Pour the buttermilk into a 1-quart canning jar and put the lid on tightly. Place the jar in a pot and cover with enough water to keep it submerged. Heat over medium-high heat until little bubbles appear on the jar and in the water, but before the water reaches a boil. Turn off the heat and let the buttermilk cool in the pot until the water reaches room temperature.

Step 2

Meanwhile, line a nonreactive sieve with a few layers of cheesecloth, or a single layer of butter muslin, and set it in a nonreactive bowl deep enough that there is an inch or two between the sieve and the bowl.

Step 3

Once the water has cooled, remove the jar of buttermilk and pour the contents into the sieve. You should have firm white curds. You can add a pinch of salt to the curds at this point, if you wish.

Step 4

Cover the curds with the tails of the muslin and refrigerate the sieve over the bowl for 12 to 24 hours, depending on how soft or crumbly you like your farmer’s cheese. I drain mine for about 16 hours, at which point the cheese is still soft enough to spread, but dry enough to crumble onto salads.