Last month, in our fabulous Moos-Letter, we asked y’all to send us your favorite recipes using your very own homemade cheese. We were thrilled when we received whey more than we had anticipated! We have already started sharing them with you here on this blog, and we have only just begun. These are a few of the many dessert recipes you sent:
Apple Cranberry Cheesecake by Nanette Truelove
About Nanette: I grew up on a small farm in Pennington, New Jersey. Dad had a Guernsey dairy cow that produced huge amounts of milk. My Sicilian mother and dad made lots of farmer’s cheese which the family and relatives loved. We ate the cheese from the fresh, rubbery stage to the dried and grated stage. There were always several cheeses sitting on the top of the refrigerator at various stages of curing.
They hand pressed out the whey in a colander and then hand pressed it into woven cheese baskets. They set the baskets on a plate to firm up and drain overnight. Then they removed the cheese from the basket and cured it by rubbing on olive oil and plain salt. The cheese was turned and more salt and oil reapplied every few days until the cheese was dried hard enough to grate.
After our wedding, my husband Gene and I moved to North Carolina. One of the items on my “bucket list” as a home maker was to make cheese like my folks did. Well, I searched everywhere and it was impossible to find fresh cow’s milk. Then, I discovered New England Cheese Making on an internet search and learned that I could use pasteurized milk from the grocery by adding calcium chloride to the cheese recipe. I was delighted that my cheese tasted just like I remembered.
Nanette’s Apple Cranberry Cheesecake
1 pie crust – sweet, or one packaged flat crust
2 apples peeled, cored and minced
1/3 cup of dried cranberries
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Cheese Cake Filling:
8 ounce package of cream cheese
8 ounce container of ricotta cheese
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of milk
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
1/4 cup of sliced toasted almonds, held in reserve
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Butter spray a nine inch cheesecake pan and place the dough in the middle of the pan. Use your floured hands to press the dough flat on the bottom and up the sides of the pan, two inches in height.
Mix the apples, cranberries, brown sugar, and cinnamon together then spread the mixture over the crust.
Liquefy the remaining ingredients in a blender. Slowly pour on the liquid without disturbing the apple mixture as much as possible.
Sprinkle the surface with the toasted almonds.
Bake in the lower third of the oven for one hour. It is done when a wooden tooth pick inserted in the center is removed clean. Use a knife to release it from the sides of the pan.
Refrigerate when it has completely cooled. Serves 8.
Use this shortbread crust for desserts such as tortes or tarts.
½ cup of soft salted butter
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
¼ cup of sugar
Blend the ingredients in a food processor or with a pastry knife.
Place the ball of dough in the bottom of a pie pan and press it out with a spatula to fit the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
Use a fork to pierce the interior bottom edge of the crust every two inches.
Yield: 1 nine inch crust per recipe.
Almond Joy Bon Bons by Cindy Baisiger
About Cindy: I started out raising Boer cross goats about 11 yrs. ago. Then about 4 yrs. ago I bought a registered Toggenburg and was amazed at the amount of milk she produced. This past summer between her and 2 others, they were giving me between 5 and 7 gallons every other day!
Living alone at 59 years old and working two jobs presents it’s set of challenges. I was growing weary of making Basket Cheese, Cheese Curds, and Feta every other day and I didn’t want to make more work for myself by getting pigs or a feeder calf to use up all that extra milk, so I started making cream cheese and freezing it. It was the quickest and simplest cheese to make.
All I had to do was let the culture (Ricki’s Fromagina) work overnight and strain it in the morning. Then, I would set it in the refrigerator until I got home from work and bag it up in 1 qt. (1 lb.) freezer bags. (4 gallons of goat’s milk would make 5 lbs. of cream cheese.)
Now there’s 45 lbs. of cream cheese in my freezer! I made a lot of cheesecakes, some lasagna, stuffed shells, and herbed cheese spreads, but the most liked lately are the Almond Joy Bon Bons.
Cindy’s Almond Joy Bob Bons
8 oz. cream cheese (Fromagina), room temp.
4 Tbs. butter, room temp.
1/2 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs
4 c. powdered sugar
10 oz. chocolate chips
1/2 tsp. coconut oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla
7 oz. shredded sweetened coconut
50 (or so) roasted salted almonds (enough to put in each bon bon)
In large bowl, mix cream cheese, butter, and vanilla, together until combined
Add graham cracker crumbs and mix well
Add in powdered sugar, 1 c. at a time until blended
Mix in the shredded coconut
Cover and chill in freezer for 10 min.
Line two cookie sheets with wax paper
Bring batter out of freezer and scoop a spoonful into palm of hand. Roll into small balls and insert an almond in each ball
Place cream cheese balls onto the wax paper lined cookie sheet about 2- 3 in. apart
When sheet is full, place into freezer to chill and start on the second cookie sheet
While cookie sheets are in freezer chilling, place chocolate chips in small bowl with 1/2 tsp. of coconut oil
Heat chocolate chips and coconut oil in microwave stirring every 15 sec. for about 1 min. total until chocolate is melted
Dip the cream cheese balls into the chocolate, covering completely
With a teaspoon or fork, lift chocolate covered bon bon out of the chocolate and onto the lined cookie sheet again
Chill in freezer until chocolate has set, then store in refrigerator until served for best results
Cajeta Casera by Carole Bennett
About Carole: I and my family live on 40 acres in Parker, Colorado, which is southeast of Denver, on the high prairie (about 6500 feet above sea level). We raise Nubian, Alpine and Saanen dairy goats. We currently have about 50, and we’re milking 12. We started with the goats about 10 years ago, as a 4-H project. I soon had more milk than I knew what to do with, and began making cheese. I make all kinds of cheese (using only raw goat milk), plus yogurt, kefir, chevre and cajeta. (I especially like to make cajeta this time of year, because it makes a great holiday gift.) I love making cheese, and find that there’s always much more to learn.
Carole’s Cajeta Casera
1 gallon goat’s milk, pasteurized or raw (can also use part or all cow’s milk, but goat’s milk is traditional)
5 cups dark brown sugar
1-2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
Combine all ingredients in a large pot, and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Simmer for about 5-6 hours, so that the liquid is reduced. It will be darker and thicker. You may need to reduce the heat, to keep it simmering, but you do not want a rolling boil. Be sure to keep stirring occasionally, to keep the texture even throughout.
It’s important to know when the cajeta is ready. It will be thick and caramel-brown in color. When you pull your spoon through the mixture, you should see a trail revealing the bottom of the pot that the cajeta fills in slowly. You will also see a residue on the sides of the pot where the cajeta has cooked down (fudgy and delicious!).
At this point, turn off the heat and let the cajeta cool down. It will get even thicker as it cools.
Pour into glass jars (I use pint size jars) with a tight lid. They will keep a long time in the refrigerator, up to six months. (It makes a great gift.)
One final note: Making this in bigger batches doesn’t really work. It just doesn’t thicken right if you use more than a gallon at a time. However, you can use smaller amounts. Just adjust the ingredients accordingly.