This foolproof recipe for raw cottage cheese requires just one ingredient and results in a delicious treat that you can enjoy any time of the day!
This recipe for raw cottage cheese is simple – it requires a single gallon of raw milk. If raw milk is legal in your area and you can pick up for your family, you’ll want to give this a try.
Homemade Cottage Cheese – 3 Ways
If you love cottage cheese, you’ll get a kick out of knowing that there are 3 ways to make it yourself at home:
- Using Mesophilic culture and rennet
- Using vinegar or lemon juice (an acid)
- Cottage Cheese with just a single gallon of raw milk
I’ve found them all to be completely doable for the average person. I’ll admit, though that using rennet and culture is my least favorite method because it’s time consuming and the curds come out much different.
Which Method is Best?
In most cases, cottage cheese with vinegar or lemon juice (an acid) is what most folks would feel comfortable tackling. You start by heating the milk to a certain temperature, then adding the acid and allowing it to work for 30 minutes. It’s the best option if you know you need cottage cheese for dinner later in the day and have a few hours to spare.
Using a single gallon of raw milk is very simple – though I will mention that it can take 24-36+ hours. There is no “set” clock on making raw cottage cheese because every kitchen will be different. Some areas will be cooler than others (and thus, will take longer).
Then in areas like Arizona where summers reach 110+ degrees F, the cottage cheese will be ready much faster.
Raw Milk Cottage Cheese
- 1 gallon raw milk
- (optional): salt
Skim (or don’t skim) the cream off the top of the milk and set aside. If you do decide to remove the cream, store in a mason jar. in the fridge.
**Some may opt to pour the cream off of the top with a baster and set it aside in the fridge until the cottage cheese is done. Then re-add it in later for extra creaminess. Or.. leave it on. It won’t turn into cottage cheese, but along the way (around the 24 hour mark), you can scoop it off for sour cream.
Pour the gallon of milk into a large bowl and cover with a flour sack towel, plastic wrap or cheesecloth. Allow the milk to stay on the counter, at room temperature, for 24-48 hours. Your time may vary based on a bunch of factors.
Over time, the cottage cheese will start to show signs of separation, but won’t be overly separated. Here in my Arizona home, it usually takes 2 days, but your experience may vary based on:
- freshness of the milk
- temperature of your home
- seasons (fall vs. .spring, winter vs. summer)
If you left the cream in the milk, after 24 hours, skim off the cream — that’s sour cream.
Dump the rest of the bowl into a large cheesecloth-lined colander that sits atop of a larger pot to catch the whey. A llow t he curds to drain for several hours. Curds left to drain for a longer period of time will be dryer cottage cheese. While curds left to drain for a few hours will be less dry & richer in flavor.
Salt & Season
Take the curds out of the cheesecloth-lined colander now, break them apart (if needed) and keep them in a bowl. Season them with salt and pepper. If you opted for drier curds by pouring off the cream, add some of the cream back in at 1/4 C. at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.
Store the cottage cheese in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to one week (though it’ll probably be gone by then).