My husband has been known to drive 17 miles to the village (one way) to get something I want. But even though he’ll make the trip to town whenever I ask it’s great for me to know I can make my own ingredients if need be. Here are some recipes so you can make your own dairy ingredients.
There are times a recipe calls for yogurt and, although I freeze store bought yogurt for this purpose this recipe gives me a never-ending supply of yogurt the way sourdough starter does for bread.
• 2 cups milk
• 2 tablespoons yogurt
• An airtight jar, or several small airtight jars, sterilized
• A medium, heavy bottomed saucepan
• An instant-read thermometer
1. Place the milk in your heavy bottomed saucepan.
2. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, until the mixture has reached 180 degrees F. This will not be boiling, but will be bubbling.
3. Remove from heat.
1. Monitor the temperature as the milk cools. Once the temperature has dropped to 110 to 115 degrees F, add the yogurt to the mixture.
2. Mix thoroughly, and transfer to the waiting container or containers.
1. Cover place the lid on the container and let the yogurt sit for a while. This can be done in a couple of ways.
2. One method (and, admittedly the easiest one) is to simply leave it at warm room temperature for 10 to 12 hours.
3. If it’s cool in your kitchen, wrap the container with a towel to keep it warm. After 10 to 12 hours, give it a taste. If it isn’t quite as tangy as you’d like, let it sit a couple more hours. While the flavor using the above method is fantastic, the texture can err toward thin.
4. Another method, which tends to yield thicker yogurt, involves maintaining a temperature of about 100 degrees F for 4 to 6 hours after combining the yogurt and cooled milk. This can be done by placing the container in a water bath with water that you keep between 100 and 110 degrees F, or heating your oven to 100 degrees F and placing the yogurt in the center rack — just be sure your container is heatproof. While this isn’t an extremely high temperature, you don’t want anything to start melting.
1. Once the yogurt tastes right to you, refrigerate it for several hours. It will then be ready to eat.
2. Keep it stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
There are two things I could not survive a zombie apocalypse without; butter and cream cheese. Okay, three; Daryl Dixon would be my third “must have.” With this recipe I can make my own cream cheese and maybe it’ll turn out that zombies only eat people because they don’t have cheesecake!
Homemade Cream Cheese
What you need:
– medium, heavy bottomed pot
– measuring cup
– fine mesh sieve
– cheesecloth or clean tea towel
– clean string or twine
– wooden spoon
– tall jar or pot
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1 /3 cup white vinegar
• Tiny splash of balsamic vinegar
• 2 teaspoons salt
Heat cream and salt in a clean, heavy bottomed sauce pan on medium heat until it reaches 180F on a thermometer. (If you don’t have a thermometer, you want it to be just near boiling, bubbling slightly, with steam coming off the top. It will be hot to the touch, but try not to bring it to a full boil.)
2. Stir it gently so it doesn’t burn on the bottom.
When the mixture reaches 180F remove from heat.
3. Cool for 5 – 10 minutes.
4. Add balsamic vinegar.
5. Taste and adjust vinegar and salt to taste.
Final Preparation Directions:
1. Leave in the pot and cover with a clean towel for at least 8 hours up to overnight. The mixture will separate with the thicker layer of cream curd at the top and the yellowish whey beneath.
2. Line a bowl with cheese cloth layered 4 layers thick or a very clean tea towel.
3. Pour in cream.
4. Tie the edges of the cloth together to make a pouch.
5. Suspend the pouch in a tall jar or deep bowl by tying the ends of the cheesecloth to the handle of a wooden spoon (or any other object long enough to reach across the jar or bowl. Make sure there are several inches between the bottom of the bowl and the bottom of the pouch.
6. Refrigerate overnight.
7. In the morning squeeze the pouch gently. Very little whey should come out.
8. Untie the pouch and your cream cheese is ready to spread!
Reserve the whey as a buttermilk substitute or to soak chicken to tenderize it.
One thing I hate to send my husband to buy is sweetened condensed milk. More than once it’s required a trip back to the store to exchange the evaporated milk he bought for the sweetened condensed milk I wanted. Now I can make my own at home!
Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk
• 1 1/2 cups whole milk
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1. In a small, heavy-bottomed sauce pan combine the milk and sugar.
2. Over medium heat, bring the milk and sugar to a gentle boil.
3. Reduce the heat until it is just simmering
4. Continue to simmer until the milk has changed from white to a creamy, ivory color and it’s slightly thickened and reduced by nearly half.
3. Pour the condensed milk into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to two weeks.
Making butter at home is easy and it’s fun to say you made it yourself.
• 16 ounces heavy cream
1. Pour the heavy cream into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment.
2. Turn the mixer on low and gradually increase the speed to high (if your mixer has a “whipped cream setting that’s the one to get to).
3. The cream will begin to get frothy.
4. Continue to whip the heavy cream. It will turn into whipped cream but you must continue to whip.
5. Your “whipped cream” will start to become clumpy and you may get nervous. Don’t. You don’t want whipped cream. You’re making butter.
6. Continue to whip the cream until it separates leaving a solid with a thin liquid mixed in.
7. If you want salted butter this is when you should add salt to taste and mix it in.
8. Remove your butter from the mixer and put in a bag made of cheesecloth or in a fine mesh sieve. Squeeze the cheesecloth or use a wooden spoon to push all the liquid from the solid. You’re only trying to remove the liquid, not squeeze the solid through.
9. Place the butter on a piece of plastic wrap and roll the wrap around the butter to form a roll.
My boys absolutely loved honey butter on homemade bread when they were kids. To make honey butter just soften 8 ounces of your homemade butter (okay, you can also use store bought but where’s the fun it that?) and mix in 1 1/2 tablespoons of honey.