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I woke up last week and realised that I had a gaping hole in my life – cheese is one of my favourite foods, but I had never made cheese before! So this weekend I set about rectifying the problem. A simple curd cheese turned out to be surprisingly easy…
Put 2 litres of whole milk in a big saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly to avoid any sticking or burning.

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Take it off the heat, and add the juice of two lemons

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Give it a gentle stir, and it should start to split into curds and whey. If it remains obstinately whole, add a little more lemon juice or heat the milk a little more. Leave it alone for ten minutes (off the heat) to split completely – afterwards it should look something like this:

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Pour the mixture through cheese cloth to separate the solid curds from the whey (reserve the whey for baking…), tie the cheesecloth up and leave to drain. The longer you let it drain, the firmer the resulting cheese. I find hanging the cheese from the taps makes life easier…

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And you’re done! Use it in cheesecakes, or mix with salt and pepper and chopped wild garlic to make your own version of Boursin, flavour with rose water and sugar and eat with strawberries… Have fun!

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As for the whey, well that’s another story…

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