Edam cheese or Edammer cheese is a semi hard Dutch cheese that originated from the Netherlands and named after the town of Edam in North Holland. It’s traditionally molded into a round ball shape for waxing.
Edam has a long shelf life and is great for aging. It doesn’t spoil easily and the longer it ages, the more flavor develops as with most cheeses but with Edam, it also hardens as well. Edam is made with pasteurized cow’s milk and can mature up until a year.
Edam has a slightly salty or nutty taste and hardly any smell at all which is uncommon for cheeses. It is also softer than a lot of hard cheeses like Cheddar because of its low-fat content. With its mild taste and is relatively low in fat, Edam is a great option for snacking which is why it is such a popular cheese to this day. Edam also tastes mildly similar to Gouda cheese and shares identical qualities including its springy texture and sweet and creamy tones throughout.
Edam pairs nicely on a cheese platter with some rich fruits like apricots, peaches and cherries and also as a dessert cheese with some apples and pears to compliment it.
If you’re looking to make a homemade cheese that’s very versatile and lasts a long time, Edam is the cheese for you.
Aging: 2-6 months
Skill Level: Intermediate
- 2.65 gallons of whole cow’s milk
- 1/2 tsp of Mesophilic Culture
- 1 tsp of Rennet diluted in 1/4 cup of water
Heat the Milk & Add Culture
- Heat your milk up. When it reaches 86°F you can start to add your culture in and stir
- You can do this by placing the milk in a pot or sink of very warm water. If you do this step on the stove, be sure to slowly heat the milk and stir to avoid burning.
- Let the mixture ripen for 30 minutes
- After ripening add the diluted Rennet mixture
- Allow it to rest for an additional 30 minutes or until you have a clean break
Cut the Curd
- After 30 minutes, your curd should be ready to be cut, if not, allow it to sit for longer
- Cut the curd into 1.25 cm cube size pieces
- Allow it to rest for 10 minutes
Heat the Curds
- Slowly heat the curds until they reach a temperature of about 93 °F
- This process should take 20 minutes and should be done very gradually as it makes the cheese moister.
- Regularly stir to prevent matting.
- Once the temperature is reached, allow the curds to settle for 10 minutes.
- Pour out the whey into a separate container until it is level with the curd. It is important as the excess whey will be used further in the process.
- Slowly add in water at a temperature of 111°F to the previous level of liquids.
- Gently stir the curds for one minute, which will also wash them.
- Allow the curds to rest for 10 minutes.
Draining the Cheese
- Using a Tomme or a Kadova mold, place a cheesecloth to line the mold.
- Gently ladle the curd into the lining.
Mold & Press the Cheese
- Press the curds at 15 lbs. for 1 hour.
- Heat the whey that was extracted earlier to 122°F.
- Remove cheese from the mold, unwrap from cloth and place into the whey mixture so it is only just covered. Leave for 20 minutes.
- This will allow for the surface of the cheese to harden.
- Remove the cheese from the whey and reline with the cheesecloth.
- Press the cheese at 39 lbs. for 6 hours.
- After 6 hours remove from the press and unwrap.
Brining and Aging
- Place the cheese in a brine solution for 12 hours turning at regular intervals.
- After removing from the solution, allow the cheese to air dry in a cool place for 5-7 days or until it is dry to the touch.
- Turn the cheese over daily and check for any mold.
- Age the cheese for at least 2 months. If you want a stronger taste for your cheese, allow it to age for 6 months.
Storing the Cheese
- When the cheese is dry, cover it in wax.