Thursday, June 18, 2015

goat cheese pie & more

First, have some children and some fresh milk goats.  Get the kids to milk the goats.  (this is the definition of "success" -- for parent AND child) (not amount of money the girls make or the amount of "housework" the boys do because goats and milk "count" as both) (or not as no one here is "counting") (see how silly that sh*t is) (which is why we are on the farm doing things differently, LIVING differently) (*life on the farm*)

Now get some fresh goat milk (which is different from fresh milk goats) and make some farmer cheese, or paneer, or whatever you want to call it.  I'm pretty sure I made some of this early on in my goat milking life (when I did all the milking since the children were small or even not born yet) and didn't like it as I found it astringent.  I don't know.  I don't find it that way now.  I don't remember what recipe I might have used, or maybe I used older milk or something.  Anyway, this is working for me now.

If you've gone to read that recipe, yes it really is that easy.  Heat milk, add vinegar (and I use straight up white vinegar), drain curds, salt.  It is good just to eat.  I'm experimenting now with rolling it into logs (I think there is a mat here somewhere) and rolling it in cracked pepper, and with freezing it to use for pies later but I don't know how those turn out yet.

If you are using it for pie, don't drain it too much.  And save some whey but it is easier to just not drain it so much.  It also might be easier if you have an honest to the Gods food processor but I have to choose between a vita-mix and a whisk and I really don't like kitchen gadgets in general so drain it less for pie is my motto.  Then use the vita-mix.  Also, you can use lemon or lime juice to smooth the cheese with.  At least this is what I'm trying now.  I would use lemon zest but come on, I'm a homesteader in Tennessee and I don't generally just happen to have a fresh lemon on hand.  But we do keep a good key lime juice on hand, so that's what I'm using.

Now, the recipe I used called this a cheese cake, but in the description said it was somewhat like a paskha.  Whatever that is.  I did google it and I did used to trade milk with an Eastern Orthodox family. But to *me*, made according to the recipe the first time, this thing was MUCH more like my mother's "cream cheese pie" that was my very very favorite when I was a child.  So I took it right out of that spring form pan and put it into a regular Southern glass deep dish pie pan and added key lime juice when smoothing the cheese.

That step with the heated up milk and the egg yolks is still a bit of a mystery to me, and chilling it, and how thick it will get.  I haven't yet been satisfied with this step so I've looked up some custardly things and I'm trying it using one whole egg and one yolk and then cooking it gently until it coats the back of a spoon and see if that helps.  Also, chilling the pie enough is problematic as we're generally ready to eat it THAT DAY.  THAT DAY.  Not the next.  Sigh.

BUT it would seem that adding the egg white and cooking a bit has done the trick as the now refrigerated for a couple of hours pie seems solid!

Now do I want to make some fruit topping for it?  Or maybe just sprinkle on some of those great wild black raspberries the husband picked the other day?

Also, there is one garlic and cracked pepper encrusted cheese log in the fridge, along with a container of peppered cheese (the ends of the log that I cut away, and the garlic pepper that didn't encrust) and that stuff is delicious.

I will say that this pie seemed to be less trouble the day that I didn't make the cheese the same day that I made the pie but as daughter #2 is making a serious supper tonight, that's entirely ok.  I'll experiment with freezing later, and thawing even later than that.

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