I made lactose-free cheese! I actually make this fairly frequently because my lactose intolerance is a new thing for me and I like having cheese on things like baked potatoes and burgers. This cheese does not melt like cheddar or American. It acts more like ricotta or feta. But it’s lactose-free so I can eat it!
I looked at many of the lactose-free or vegan cheeses on the market and most of them are made from soy or nuts, which are on the list of things I cannot eat. Very disappointing.
When I originally decided to try this, I wasn’t sure what role lactose plays in the making of cheese so I wasn’t even sure this would work. I decided to experiment with a small carton of Lactaid milk and it turned out really nice. So now I make a batch every two weeks or so.
Making farmer’s cheese is really easy. I use 2% Lactaid to keep the fat content down. I add flavorings depending on what I’m planning on using it for. This week, I added garlic, chives, and black pepper to 2 quarts of milk in a large saucepan and heat it up to 195 degrees F. This lets the flavors infuse into the milk as it heats up. Once it reaches temperature, I turn off the heat and add the juice of one lemon and stir one time. Then, I just walk away for 15 minutes! I don’t stir it or poke it or do anything else to it. It will separate into curds and whey and look really disgusting. That’s okay. While I am letting it do its thing, I take a fine mesh strainer and line it with two layers of cheesecloth. I then place the strainer over the sink and pour the curds and whey mixture into the strainer. Depending on what I am going to use it for will determine how long I let it strain. If I’m going to put it on baked potatoes I will leave it rather soft and creamy like ricotta. If I want it to spread on crackers, I let more of the whey strain out and let it get spreadable. If I want crumbles for salad, I squeeze all the whey out and crumble the curds! After I’m done draining the whey out and have the consistency the way I like it, I add salt to taste. Otherwise, it’s very bland. Just add a tiny bit at a time until it tastes like you want it to. It’s a delicious, lactose-free way to have cheese-y deliciousness in my dairy-free life.