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homemade farmers cheese
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Homemade Farmer's Cheese

Cuisine: cheese
Servings: 4 ounces


  • 1 quart whole milk NOT ultra-pasteurized!
  • 1 cup buttermilk I use reduced-fat
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch of fennel powder


  • Combine milk, buttermilk, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium pot over medium heat.
  • Bring the mixture to 180° F, using a temperature probe to track the temperature. As the mixture heats up, curds will start to develop. With a spoon, gently move them to the center of the pot to allow them to accumulate in one large cluster. Once the mixture has reached 180° F, turn the heat off and let the mixture sit for 20 minutes. I have found this to be an important step in developing flavor and maximizing the amount of curds yielded from the milk. Even longer is fine, but I don't recommend shorter.
  • Line a strainer with at least 4 layers of damp cheesecloth and place over a large bowl. This is how you'll strain excess whey from the cheese.
  • Transfer the curds to the cheesecloth by pouring the pot of whey and curds into the strainer, allowing the large bowl to contain all the whey.
  • The whey can be discarded or saved for another use. The biggest thing I've used it for is making bread.
  • Strain the curds for at least 4 hours, and preferably overnight. If you choose to strain the cheese overnight, wrap it in the cheesecloth and keep in the strainer over a bowl in the refrigerator.
  • Place the cheese in a bowl and add the lemon zest, pepper and ground fennel. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Add the remaining salt if needed. Enjoy!!