Thursday, January 26, 2012

Super Easy Basket Cheese for Children

Any kind of cheese looks good when it's made in a basket!

This is not the real thing!  But, it's great for demonstrating the cheese making process to children.  You can use cow or goat's milk, raw or pasteurized, whole or skimmed-whatever you have on hand.  As always- the better the milk, the better the cheese.

Almost exactly a year ago, Jim Wallace posted the recipe for the Original Italian Basket Cheese which you will find in the recipe section of our website under Recipes with Pictures and Step-by-Step Directions.  With his directions, you can make a soft or an aged Canestrato the way it is authentically made in Italy.

In another part of the recipe section, under "Recipes Submitted by Our Customers" the very first entry is a recipe for Basket Cheese.  This same recipe shows up on many websites when you look up "basket cheese," so it's hard to say whether they took the recipe from our website or whether our customer sent us a very popular recipe!

This recipe would be very easy for a child to make, (with adult supervision, of course) because the temperature never goes above 100F. 


Basket Cheese
From Recipes Submitted by Our Customers
(Recipe for printing at the end of this article.)

Handed down by word of mouth to Rosanne Coreano of NY, this recipe produces a rather mild cheese. It is eaten either by itself or enjoyed on Bruchetta or toast, drizzled with olive oil, a pinch of garlic salt and a slice of ripe tomato, Yum!

Ingredients:
    1 gallon milk
    1 tsp rennet
    2 pinches salt



Heat the milk to lukewarm (86-90F) and add the rennet.






Turn off heat and let set for about 40 minutes.



After the milk has set turn the heat back on to low and heat again for about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon pull the curds to the side of the pot. Keep moving the curds for about 10 minutes with the slotted spoon. (This breaks up the curd and keeps them draining.)




Remove the curds from the pot with your slotted spoon and place into a basket (our M222 or M232 is ideal for this).



Return the basket with the curds in it back into the whey and cover the curds with the whey pressing the curds into the basket with your hands.




Remove the basket from the whey and set another mold inside of the first one and put an 6-8oz. glass of water on top of it. (this is used as a weight for pressing the cheese). Press this way for 2 hours.



Take out the cheese and turn over, salt to taste, return to the basket and continue pressing for 1 and a half hours longer.  (Note:  I love salt, so I rolled the cheese in it, but most people would not want to do that.  Even I had to brush off most of the salt later.)





Remove the cheese from the press and refrigerate.


This cheese will have a 3 day shelf life. So get that Bruchetta and enjoy!

For printing this recipe:

Basket Cheese

Handed down by word of mouth to Rosanne Coreano of NY, this recipe produces a rather mild cheese. It is eaten either by itself or enjoyed on Bruchetta or toast, drizzled with olive oil, a pinch of garlic salt and a slice of ripe tomato, Yum!

Ingredients:
    1 gallon milk
    1 tsp rennet
    2 pinches salt
Heat the milk to lukewarm (86-90F) and add the rennet. Turn off heat and let set for about 40 minutes.
After the milk has set turn the heat back on to low and heat again for about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon pull the curds to the side of the pot. Keep moving the curds for about 10 minutes with the slotted spoon. (This breaks up the curd and keeps them drain in.)
Remove the curds from the pot with your slotted spoon and place into a basket. (our M222 or M232 is ideal for this) Return the basket with the curds in it back into the whey and cover the curds with the whey pressing the curds into the basket with your hands.
Remove the basket from the whey and set another mold inside of the first one and put an 6-8oz. glass of water on top of it. (this is used as a weight for pressing the cheese. Press this way for 2 hours.
Take out the cheese and turn over, salt to taste, return to the basket and continue pressing for 1 and a half hours longer. Remove the cheese from the press and refrigerate.
This cheese will have a 3 day shelf life. So get that Bruchetta and enjoy!

1 comment:

robert cavallo said...

This recipe for basket cheese is similar to what was passed down in our family, it is eaten fresh and often used at Easter to make pizza piena or pizza rustica, it's simple to make and for me brings me back to my childhood.
Around Easter, this cheese can be found in Italian deli's and some supermarkets here in CT for the purpose of making pizza piena.