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Farmer Cheese

This fresh cheese is incredibly versatile. It can be eaten with bread or crackers or crumbled on top of salads. Try blending it with other cheeses such as ricotta, which is a similar but milder cheese, for lasagna, or combine it with yogurt, to make a savory dip. Or, incorporate it into any recipe that calls for soft, fresh cheese.

Prep Time

    •    Prep time: 15 minutes
    •    Cook time: 15 minutes
    •    Yield: Serves 4


    •    1 tsp salt
    •    1/2 gallon milk
    •    1/4 cup white vinegar
    •    fresh dill or chives, finely chopped (Optional)


  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, bring the milk to a slow boil. Keep the heat at medium or medium-low; otherwise, you risk scorching the milk on the bottom of the pot.
  3. When small, foamy bubbles begin to form on the milk, but it is not yet at a rolling boil, turn off the heat. If using a thermometer, the temperature will read about 190 F.
  4. Add the vinegar and stir the milk. Curds will immediately begin to form
  5. Let the milk sit for 15 minutes.
  6. After 15 minutes, add any flavorings, such as finely chopped fresh herbs.
  7. Place a colander over a large bowl or pot. Drape either a dampened cheesecloth or thin dampened dish towel over the colander. Pour the curds into the cheesecloth. The whey (liquid) will drain and be collected in the bowl below, and the solid curds will be caught in the cheesecloth.
  8. Lift the cheesecloth and wrap it around the curds, twisting and squeezing to remove as much moisture as possible.
  9. After squeezing out the moisture, the curds for farmer cheese will be dry and crumbly. If you want a creamier texture, mix a little of the reserved whey back into the curds.
  10. Add the salt and stir it together.
  11. To shape the cheese, keep it wrapped in cheesecloth and form it into a mound on a plate. Set another plate on top and press the curds into a flat disc that is 1 to 2 inches tall. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or so before removing the cheesecloth.
  12. To make a round ball, tie the cheesecloth with a length of butcher's twine, attach it to a shelf in the refrigerator, and suspend it over a bowl. Gravity will help shape the cheese into a ball.

This great family recipe is thanks to The Spruce Eats at


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