Apricot Ginger Walnut Goat Cheese Log

Introduction: Apricot Ginger Walnut Goat Cheese Log

This is an Instructable on making apricot, ginger, walnut flavored goat cheese. This is a sweet goat cheese that can be made from scratch or from a store bought unflavored cheese log. I have made many different flavors, but this is the one that has been a resounding favorite among friends and family. The cheese recipe I use is a standard chevre recipe. If you are using a store bought log, skip down to step 4 on flavoring your goat cheese.

Supplies

For making the cheese

Goat milk

Lemon juice

Thick bottomed stainless-steel pot

Cooking thermometer

Stirring spoon

Strainer (colander)

Cheesecloth

Mixing bowl

For flavoring the cheese

Salt

Apricot jam

Fresh ginger

Chopped walnuts

Mixing bowl

Spoon

Food processor (or knife and cutting board)

Step 1: Making the Cheese

Making the goat cheese is simple and requires only two ingredients, goat milk and lemon juice. The lemon juice acts as an acid to curdle the milk, causing the curd to separate from the whey. This recipe works for both raw and pasteurized goat milk, don’t use ultra-pasteurized milk. The measurements are for one quart of goat milk, but I have friend who gives me milk by the gallon (thanks Lisa) and this recipe scales well. I have found that the yield of cheese from raw goat milk varies greatly depending on time of year, which goat it came from, and the goat’s diet. I used about a gallon of milk making this Instructable and got about 1 2/3 cups (packed) of cheese.

Ingredients:

1 quart goat milk

1/3 cup lemon juice

Step 2: Measure Ingredients and Heat Milk

  1. Measure out lemon juice and set aside. (1/3 cup lemon juice per quart of goats milk so for a gallon use 1 1/3 cups lemon juice) If you have an odd amount of goat’s milk, always err on the side of too much lemon juice rather than too little.
  2. Put milk in a stainless steel pot, heat milk on medium heat until it reaches between 180F to 185F. At this temperature the milk should have formed small bubbles or foam. It should take at least 10 minutes if the milk has been refrigerated. If heated too quickly or on too high a temperature the curd may not separate properly and the milk might scald.

  3. Turn off heat and stir in lemon juice. Let mixture sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Do not disturb the milk during this time. After about 10 minutes you should see the curd separating from the whey. The whey will turn a yellowish green color.

Step 3: Separating the Crud

1. Line a strainer with at least three layers of cheesecloth. Slowly pour the milk into the cheesecloth to separate the curds. Don’t panic if it seems like there are no curds in your cheesecloth when you start straining, curds may settle at the bottom of the pot. If the cheese cloth seems full (liquid inside is custard like and not liquid drips out) move onto the next step and put new cheese cloth in strainer. Strain over a bowl if you want to keep the whey. This can be used in baking wherever the recipe calls for milk. Note: If you started with a gallon or more of milk, keep the whey so it can be strained twice.

2. Twist cheesecloth into a bundle and hang to let the liquid drip out. Let the cheese drain for at least two hours. I tend to tighten the cheese cloth after one hour and then forget about it until after dinner. You want to remove as much liquid as possible so that the cheese will remain firm after adding flavorings. Note: Don’t tighten cheesecloth too much. The curds are delicate and will squeeze through cheesecloth if the pressure is too high.

3. After two hours, transfer cheese to a mixing bowl.

Step 4: Flavoring the Cheese

The measurements I am using for the flavorings are my preference and can be modified to whatever strength you prefer. Having said that, be careful of adding too much jam as it can cause the cheese log to become soft and fall apart. If this happens, put it in a cup and call it goat cheese dip. (refrigerating the cheese uncovered will also help it firm up)

Ingredients:

1/3 cup goat cheese (packed)

Salt -to taste (only for homemade cheese)

1 1/2 to 2 Tablespoons apricot jam

1/4 teaspoon ginger -grated as finely as possible

2 Tablespoons walnuts -finely chopped

walnuts -coarsely chopped

Instructions:

1. Measure out 1/3 cups of goat cheese and place it in a mixing bowl. Add salt (I start with about 1/4 teaspoon). If using store bought cheese you may want to omit salt. Place 2 Tablespoons of walnuts in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped (not a paste or powder).

2. Add jam, finely chopped walnuts, and ginger to the goat cheese. Mix with a spoon until the jam is incorporated into the goat cheese. Taste a bit of cheese to check if flavor and salt are to your liking. Note: if the cheese seems a bit too wet, put uncovered in the refrigerator for an hour.

3. Put three handfuls (I have small hands) of coarsely chopped walnuts on a plate. (if using pre-chopped walnuts no further chopping is needed). Shape cheese into a log and roll lightly in walnuts.

4. Put cheese log into refrigerator over night. This will greatly improve the texture and taste.

5. To serve, bring cheese to room temperature (important) and serve with crackers or bread of your choice.

Step 5: Final Thoughts

I wanted to share a few other flavor combinations that have been popular. Feel free to try any of them or come up with your own. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have!

Flavor combinations:

Honey Date Pecan

Lemon Rosemary Cranberry

Lemon Blueberry

Garlic Sage Chives

Mustard Tarragon

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