Fresh Cheese with Garlic & Herbs

Makes approx. 500g/18oz
500ml/18fl oz/2¼ cups full-fat (whole) milk cottage cheese
500ml/18fl oz/2¼ cups full-fat (whole) milk yoghurt
500ml/18fl oz/2¼ cups double (heavy) cream
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2–3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whilst it’s not really feasible to make a hard cheese at home, this soft fresh cheese is simple to make and delicious to eat.

Don’t use skimmed milk products to make it lower in fat, as this will give a thinner, flavourless finish. Choose whatever herbs you like. Sometimes I use just one variety, basil or tarragon say, and at other times a mixture of flat-leaf parsley, coriander (cilantro) and even some tender thyme leaves.

Combine the cottage cheese, yoghurt and cream in a food processor. Purée until completely smooth. Add the garlic and chopped herbs, and season to taste.

Line a colander or sieve with a double layer of scalded cheesecloth or muslin, and set this over a bowl. Scoop the mixture into the sieve, and cover loosely with a cloth. Set aside to drain at room temperature until the cheese becomes dry and firm (about 12 hours). It is ready when no more liquid drips from it.

Tip the cheese into a pot or place in a clean dish. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

The cheese will mature in flavour if left for 24 hours before serving, and is best then, but it can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.

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