Easy Raw Chevre

Hi, I’m Wardeh (‘Wardee’) from GNOWFGLINS. I was thrilled when Ren asked me to guest post on his blog. It took me awhile to decide what I would share, but I finally settled on my recipe for a no-mess, can’t-go-wrong, delicious, and beneficial cheese – raw chevre.

Chevre, a soft spreadable cheese from raw goat milk, is one of the easiest cheeses to make. My family started raising our own milk goats in the late spring of 2009. I’ve made many batches of chevre since then – at least one per week, though sometimes more. We consume it daily, either plain or in other dishes, but I’ve also managed to fill the freezer with finished batches at a fantastic rate.  Want some?

Not only delicious, raw cheeses are incredibly good for us. They are full of beneficial bacteria and enzymes. Often, people who are lactose-intolerant can eat raw cheese. This is because during the culturing stage, bacteria consume much of the lactose. The cheese also contains lactase, the enzyme needed to digest lactose, which helps if there is any lactose left. It is marvelous that raw dairy foods bring with them the necessary enzymes to aid digestion.

I’ve made it my mission to find easy-to-make cheeses. Chevre fits the bill not only because it is simple and almost hands-off, but because it only requires a 1/2 gallon of raw goat milk to make it. By the way, you can make chevre with raw cow’s milk. The process will be the same, just you can’t call it chevre any more. This recipe makes 2 to 3 cups of chevre. I do it bag-style, rather than in little cup molds.

Ingredients

Stage 1: Culturing

Put the milk in a half gallon or gallon size jar. The milk’s temperature doesn’t matter. I usually start chevre with milk warm from milking, but I’ve also done it with milk cold from the refrigerator. Sprinkle the mesophilic culture on it and stir in with a wooden spoon (not metal).

Put the 1/4 cup of water in a little jar or cup. Add one drop of the double-strength liquid rennet. Stir well. Take one tablespoon of this solution and add it to the jar of milk. Stir well. If using regular strength liquid rennet, mix one drop of it with the water, but add 2 tablespoons of the solution to the milk and stir well.

This solution will keep in the refrigerator for one or two weeks. If it smells disagreeable, toss it. (It will smell like nothing when it is still good.)

Cover the jar of milk with a cloth napkin and secure with a rubber band. Let sit out at room temperature to culture for 24 hours.

Stage 2: Dripping

Place the colander inside a pot or bowl. Make sure it is big enough to catch up to a quart of the whey that will drip out. Layer the two pieces of cheesecloth in the colander.

The milk should now be thick and gelled, much like a firm yogurt. Transfer these curds into the cheesecloth. It is okay if they fall apart. Do it gently, but don’t be concerned about keeping them all in one piece.

Tie up the opposite corners of the cheesecloth, making a bag to enclose the curds. Lay the ends of the cheesecloth on top of the bundle of curds in the colander. Don’t let the ends of the cheesecloth hang out of the colander, or the whey will drip down into a puddle on your counter (true story).

Leave this setup out at room temperature for 24 hours, during which time the whey will drip out and the curds will thicken.

Stage 3: Collecting

Untie the cheesecloth and check the consistency of the cheese. You may let it hang longer if you wish the cheese to thicken more. At this point, it is usually spreadable and soft, thicker than mayonnaise but not dry.

Transfer the chevre to a clean bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Stir. Adjust amount of salt to taste. Refrigerate.

Save and refrigerate the whey that drips out; it may be used in lacto-ferments.

Mix It Up

Besides spread plain and salty on scones or toast, I like to use chevre in some other yummy ways.

It has become my family’s favorite creamy salad dressing. Combine 1 cup of chevre with 1 cup of raw milk and 4 tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar. Blend well, adding salt, pepper, garlic, and other herbs (parsley, dill, and chives are good) to taste.


I mix the chevre with a seasoning salt such as Herbamare, or my homemade version of it, for a delicious vegetable dip.

And it makes a great sour cream substitute. Blend the chevre with enough raw milk to make it the consistency you desire. It will thicken up in the refrigerator.

And that’s it! Chevre is a great cheese that anyone can make and everyone likes. I’ve enjoyed having this opportunity to write at Edible Aria; Ren’s blog is one of my favorite blogs, not just because of the fantastic foods he makes, but because he’s a sincere and caring person.

You can find me at my blog, GNOWFGLINS, where I write about how my family embraces “God’s Natural, Organic, Whole Foods, Grown Locally, In Season.” I’d love to see you there.

34 thoughts on “Easy Raw Chevre

  1. Pure white nutritious bliss! Thank you, Wardeh for this post and thank you, Ren. I enjoy BOTH your blogs immensly! :)

  2. Thank you Ren for inviting her over to share.
    Definitely an easy cheese to make. Just need to pick up the culture then I’ll be making it with Raw Cows Milk…….if its then not called Chevre…what do you call it? I really liked how the Indian Paneer turned out that I did to use up excess Raw Milk before it all went bad…but this one is far better since Paneer requires bringing the milk to a boil.
    Thanks again……Wardeh’s blog is always a daily delight.

    1. Pamela, that’s a good question. I’m not sure what it would be called if using raw cow’s milk – I call it soft, spreadable raw cheese, but that’s more of a description than a name.

      Your Indian Paneer turned out beautifully. Such a lovely photo!

  3. Yes, thanks to both of you! I’ve been wanting to start getting into cheesemaking, and this is definitely my speed for getting started.

    Wardee…if made with cow’s milk, how will this cheese differ from yoghurt cheese?

    Thanks!!
    leih

    1. Leih – To me, raw goat milk and raw cow milk (fresh) differ very little in taste right out the door, barring some really goaty milk. ;) So the flavor of this cheese comes from the mesophilic culture. It offers a mild taste that appeals to most people, whether goat or cow milk is the base (IMO). As you know, plain yogurt (and kefir) are tart, and kefir moreso, so cheese made from those is more tart than this cheese. I make kefir cheese as well and it is quite tart compared to this.

  4. Oh wow, thanks!!! Now all I have to do is convince Honey to let me get a goat too! If I had a goat, I’d be getting milk! My heifers are taking soooooooo long to breed. I want a goat!

    1. Diane – Too funny! When you finally get your milk cow, you’ll be swimming in milk. Much moreso than goats, so your patience will be rewarded. We’re wanting a milk cow in addition to our goats. And it is past time for us to breed our goats, but we need to find a buck.

      1. The really funny thing is….we’ve been waiting over a year for milk from a cow (still heifers technically), and wouldn’t you know I think they are both bred and will come into milk at the SAME time…..we’re talking 6 gallons of milk a day!!!! I’m going to have to get really good at cheese making!

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  6. This is amazing! I’ve recently added one more milk doe to my backyard herd of 3 (with only 1 other milking) and have so much milk I wasn’t sure what to do with it all. This recipe is so easy and so tasty. My favorite has been adding maple syrup to it and using it as a pancake topper! Thanks for sharing!

    1. OK to freeze for use in cooking/baking perhaps, but its likely to have kind of a runny, weird texture that wouldn’t work so well as a spread. Please let me know if you decide to try it, though! Thanks!

      1. Thanks! for you reply, I went right by your recipe,but I tried it with cold goat milk and it turned out beautifu, I have Nigerians Dwarfs and their is the creamist I have ever seen. This was my first time. Also when you put the herbs and salt can it be stirred into? Thanks again Darlene

  7. just wanted to say the Cherve is awesome! when I took it out of the colander it was a little dry. I just added some milk to it and if is fabulous. I just used an Italian mix I seasoned it will, kosher salt and pepper. I am very happy with the results. Thanks a lot. Darlene

  8. I tried this recipe with raw milk from my fresh delivery. My cream separated like it does as it sits, my question is, is that supposed to happen after the culture and rennet have been added and stirred in? I got curds but the cream was more like sour cream sitting on top. I stirred it lightly and put it in the strainer and molds. I’ll know if it sets up more in a couple of days, meantime, I would like your opinion on what happened.

  9. I guess I’m a little late to the party. I just got a gallon of raw goat milk, the rennet and culture are already in and now I wait. Anxious to see how it turns out. Love Chevre. Thanks for the help.

  10. All of the chevre recipes I can find online call for mesophilic culture and liquid rennet. I can only find rennet tablets in town and yogurt and kefir starters. Obviously I can order the other stuff online, but there must be a way to make raw chevre using rennet tablets and a different starter… Has anyone come across a recipe like this?

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