Esrom Cheese

Photo Credit: Igourmet
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Esrom has a thin, yellow/orange outer skin with a mild and acidic aromatic about it. It’s a semi-soft cheese that’s fairly creamy and traditionally made from cow’s milk.

Yield: 4 pounds

Aging: Under 2 months

Skill Level: Advanced

Ingredients:

  • 4 gallons of milk
  • ¼ tsp Aroma B or Flora Dancia Culture
  • 1/64 tsp Geotrichum Candidum
  • 1/64 tsp Bacteria Linens
  • ¾ tsp of Single Strength Liquid Rennet
  • Salt and Calcium Chloride for Brine

Equipment Needed:

  1. Heat the Milk & Add Culture

  • Heat your milk up to 76F.
  • When it reaches 76F you can start to add your culture in. Sprinkle on the surface for 2 minutes before stirring in
  • Cover and allow it to ripen for 60 minutes
  • After the hour, raise the temperature to 88F and let it sit for 30 minutes
  1. Add Rennet

  • Add the liquid single strength Rennet and stir slowly.
  • Have it rest for 30 minutes
  1. 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 in a checkerboard formation with cutting vertically and then horizontally carefully and evenly throughout the curd mass. The cuts should be about ⅜ of an inch
  • Allow it to rest for a few minutes.
  • Stir gently to ensure that the curds are separated
  1. Remove Whey & Wash Curds

  • Pour out about 30% of the whey to help the cheese produce less acid
  • Replaced the drained whey with non-chlorinated water at 120F so that you can raise the temperature of the curds to 95F over the next 15 minutes
  • Stir the curds gently for the next 15-30 minutes
  • The final curds should have enough moisture removed, should easily clump together when pressed together and have moderate resistance. If the curds are not like this, continue stirring until they’re ready.
  1. Remove Whey & Drain

  • Allow the curds to sink to the bottom of the pot
  • Remove the whey from the top of the curds leaving just about 1 inch from the top of the curds. The curds should still be able to float but in a tight formation.
  • Transfer the curds to a lined mold and drain the curds
  1. Press the Cheese

  • Your curd should be kept warm during the pressing stages and as most cheeses should be pressed originally with a lightweight, working your way up to a heavier weight
  • Following each weight, un-mold the cheese, unwrap, turn and flip, and rewrap
    • 15 minutes at 8 lbs.
    • 30 minutes at 25 lbs.
    • 1 hour at 50 lbs.
    • 5 hours at 75 lbs.
  • You may notice some whey running off during the pressing process.
  1. Salt the Cheese

  • Place your cheese in a saturated brine for 2 hours per pound of cheese. This recipe, the cheese should weigh around 5.5-5.75 lbs. and will need to be in the brine or about 11-12 hours
  • Feel free to sprinkle some salt on the top of the cheese if it floats to the surface
  • Flip halfway through and sprinkle with salt again
  • Allow the cheese to dry in a spot for a couple of days
  1. Aging the Cheese

  • Move the cheese to an aging location that’s between 52-56F and 87-92% humidity for a few days. Rest the cheese on a cheese mat to allow air to flow underneath
  • About 2-4 days later you should notice a slippery nature to your rind and about 5-6 days there should be a little bit of white mold beginning to form on your cheese.
  1. Washing

  • When the white mold begins to form, that’s when you can start washing your cheese in a solution of 1 cup of boiled non-chlorinated water and one tablespoon of salt
  • Use a wet cloth with the brine solution to wipe only the top surfaces and sides to discourage unwanted mold
  • Return to aging space with the wash side up to dry
  • Repeat this step for the next two weeks as you see the white mold forming
  1. Continue Washing

  • After the initial two weeks, you should see a slightly orange color on the cheese surface that will grow deeper as time goes on
  • Washing the mold only needs to happen to keep unwanted molds away as you don’t want the cheese to get too moist
  • After 4-6 weeks, your cheese is ready to eat but you can allow it to age longer.
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