Have you ever been so determined to make something that you travel to every store you think may have it or may, on the off chance, know someone that may have it? I searched the internet looking for a substitution for rennet to make my much desired cheese. It was found online but I don’t like to go that route…unless it is absolutely necessary.
I looked further and found recipes for cheese using Junket. Off to Walmart I went and they didn’t have any…here I go again! I finally found it two stores later at Publix. I came home and started making cheese…without a thermometer. I ended up throwing away that batch because it didn’t look like the pictures I have seen on the internet. My cheese today didn’t set like the pictures on the internet but I proceeded anyway. So glad I did because I made.
Homemade Mozzarella Cheese..the Junket Way
makes about 8 oz. double to make approximately 16 oz
- 1/2 gallon milk…whole, 2%, skim
- 5/8 teaspoon citrus acid…found at the health food store
- 1/4 cup cool water
- 1/4 tablet Junket Custard Tablets
- 1/4 cup cool water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/3 cup salt
What you need
- 5 quart or larger stainless steel pot…heavy bottom and non reactive to the acid
- handkerchief (boil in water and squeeze dry), cheese cloth, even multiple coffee filters will work, see ricotta cheese post
- 8″ fine mesh strainer
- gallon container to catch whey
- container to keep cheese in
How to make it
Heat milk slowly to 88 degrees. Don’t get in a hurry like I did. I heated it too fast and had to wait for it to cool down to start!
While heating dissolve citrus acid in 1/4 cup cool water. I used room temperature.
At 88 degrees, add dissolved citrus acid and stir, thoroughly mixing it in the milk. It should start to curdle.
Dissolve 1/4 junket table in 1/4 cool water. Pour into milk, stirring to thoroughly mix. Let it sit, undisturbed, for 1-2 hours. I let mine sit 2 1/4 hours.
It should pull away from the side when sit.
Mine did not look like the pictures I have seen on the internet. There was curdled milk on top but the milk did pull away from the sides. Cut into cubes..again, mine didn’t work like the pictures but I did as the directions showed.
Heat to 108 degrees, stirring until it is reached. Then stir every 5 minutes for 35 minutes.Mine got too hot..up to 111 degrees! I stirred at 5 minutes and then again after another 5 minutes. I noticed mine looked like it was going to dissolve so I only kept let it sit for 15 or 20 minutes. You be the judge.
Pour in the lined strainer over a larger container to catch the whey. You may keep the whey to keep make ricotta. I didn’t because it is to hot in our house to let it sit out over night.
Let it sit in strainer for 15 minutes, until the whey has stopped dripping.Pour 1 cup cold water into container and dissolve 1/3 cup salt, set aside.Put the cheese in a microwavable bowl and microwave for 15 seconds. Push the side of the cheese to release any whey. You can save the whey for another use or throw away.
Try to pull the cheese. It should stretch. If not, microwave another 5-10 seconds until you can pull it. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt.Stretch until shiny. If it gets hard, heat in microwave again for another 5-10 seconds.
Immediately put in salted water (after you take a picture that is!) to set.
Store in liquid up to one week changing every couple of days.
Rinse off before using.
*edit storage….Or, after cheese is set, dry off and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Keep it in the coldest part of your refrigerator.
It should keep up to one week.
There you go! Congratulations, you made mozzarella cheese!!!!