1 cup full cream (or high fat percentage) plain yogurt
pinch of course salt
cheesecloth (or a pair of new knee high stockings - I used 20 denier)
a colander or large sieve
a bowl big enough to fit the colander/seive
Place your colander into your bowl and then your cheesecloth over your colander.
If you are using stockings, double them up and get someone to hold them open for you.
Mix your salt and yogurt together.
Spoon or pour your yogurt into the cheesecloth/stockings.
Tie the top of the cloth/stockings closed at the top, squeezing the yogurt towards the bottom as you go.
Now you can either leave the cloth/stockings in the colander as is or you can hang them above the colander and let gravity help (I hung mine from the kitchen tap).
Leave your yogurt to drain for at least 24hrs, the longer you leave it the firmer the cheese will be.
You can leave it out on the counter (in winter) or in the fridge if its too warm.
When you are ready to unveil your cheese, give it one last squeeze to remove any residual liquid and then, over a plate, unwrap the newly formed cheese.
There are a few options once your cheese is ready
You can place it in an airtight container in the fridge and use it as a plain cream cheese spread.
You can roll the cheese into small balls and then roll the balls into various herb and spice mixes before placing in an airtight container in the fridge.
You can roll the cheese into small balls and then place them in a glass jar with a well sealing lid. Top the balls of cheese with a high quality olive oil to preserve them. You can also add various herbs and spices to the oil to infuse the cheese with flavour.
You can also add your herbs and spices to the yogurt before draining if you like which will give you a flavoured cream cheese when you are done.
Shavuot, a celebration of the day the Jewish people received the Torah. As with all Jewish celebrations, we have special food related to the holiday. For Shavuot that means dairy.
Cheese, cheesecakes, pasta with lots of cheese and cream, ice cream, and most importantly (to me anyway), cheese blintzes. Yummy crepes filled with a sweet cream cheese mix and fried. They can also be made as savoury blintzes.
I found a recipe on Tori Avey’s site and modified it slightly. They were delicious!! Recipe below. All the lovely pictures taken by Paul.
Cream Cheese Blintzes
A yummy sweet cream cheese filling wrapped up in a delicious crepe.
If you follow me on Facebook you would have seen that for Shavuot I was going to make a melktert (this one from FB). Well I did, except it did not set. The custard part is supposed to set enough that you can cut the tart into slices. Mine was still liquid enough that you had to eat it with a spoon in a bowl.
So I was chatting to some friends about it and they suggested that I freeze it and make ice cream, so I popped it into the churner and a yummy melktert ice cream was born.
Below is the recipe I used, I’m not sure if it was the recipe itself, the fact that I did it on the stove top and not the microwave or if it was the ingredients (Israeli not South African) I used that caused it not to set, so if you want to try it out as a traditional melktert give it a go, if it does not set then carry on with the freezing/churning part and make it into an ice cream like I did.
Crush the biscuits either by placing in a zip lock bag and smashing with a rolling pin or by pulsing in a blender until the biscuits are crumbs.
Mix the melted butter into the biscuits.
Press the mixture into a greased dish and either bake for 8 min on 180°C or chill in the fridge for an hour.
Combine all the ingredients in a microwave proof bowl.
Place in microwave on high for 7 minutes, remove and beat.
Microwave for 5 minutes, remove and beat.
Microwave for 3 minutes, remove and beat.
This could be where I went wrong, I didn’t have a microwaveable bowl so I heated the custard on the stove, stirring continuously for about 25 minutes. It did thicken quite a bit.
Let the custard cool down, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t form a skin, alternatively cover the custard with cling wrap on the surface so the skin cant form.
Once cool, pour into the dish over the back of a spoon so you don’t break the biscuit base.
Sprinkle cinnamon over the top.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours so the custard sets.
Ice Cream (If your custard didn’t set this is the point where you turn it into ice cream)
Pour the unset custard into your churner and churn as per instructions.
Transfer the ice cream to a freezer proof bowl,cover and freeze until hard.
If you don’t have a churner you can place the custard into a freezer proof bowl, cover and freeze for at least three hours, remove every hour or so and mix well so ice crystals don’t form.
I scraped the biscuit base into the churner at the very beginning, you can leave out the base and crumble it on top after the ice cream is made or you can add half to the churner and half over the top later, totally up to you.
I am going to attempt a new recipe for the melktert so watch this space!
200g castor sugar (I cannot find castor sugar in Israel, so I took 200g brown sugar and whizzed in in my blender until it resembled castor sugar)
350g cream cheese (I used a ‘New York’ cream cheese which is kind of salty)
Splash of vanilla
1 large egg
3 tablespoons lemon juice
250ml dessert cream
biscuits for decorating
Bring milk to a simmer.
While milk is heating, beat sugar, cream cheese, vanilla and the egg until smooth.
Once milk is heated, add the milk to the sugar mixture and whisk very quickly so the egg doesn’t scramble.
Return the mixture to the stove top and simmer while continuously stirring until the custard thickens.
Remove from heat and leave to cool to room temperature.
Once cool, place in the fridge for an hour or two to start chilling.
Lightly whip the cream and gently fold it into the chilled custard.
Add the lemon juice and mix gently.
Now you can add the mixture to your ice cream machine and churn as per instructions or if you don’t have one, transfer the mixture to a freezer proof dish, cover and place in the freezer for at least 3 hours, removing the dish and stirring the ice cream every hour or so to prevent ice crystals from forming.
Serve with crushed biscuits sprinkled on top or as a filling between two flat biscuits