February 24, 2017

Homemade Farmer’s Cheese (tvorog)

My mom’s method for Homemade Farmer’s Cheese. So easy, fresh and delicious every time. Takes less than an hour to make and enjoy hours later once cooled and drained. A 2-ingredient recipe that you will always want to make and keep in your fridge!

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farmer's cheese recipe

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Homemade Farmer’s Cheese is extremely easy to make. It only requires 2 ingredients: milk and vinegar. It’s truly amazing and if you try it, you will want to always have some on hand in your refrigerator. We like to enjoy it for breakfast or as snack with cup of tea or coffee. It’s good idea to always have some already made in refrigerator.

My mom always made this cheese with vinegar and it works magic every time. It’s cheap to make as you don’t need any extra dairy to make it besides milk. It’s a huge time saver as it only takes less than an hour to make and once cooled, you drain it and use it. There is no way I would want to wait days for cheese to form. When I start something, I like to get it done that same day (preferably). I have seen different methods online for homemade farmer’s cheese, but I found my mom’s recipe to always have the best flavor, texture and no unusual aroma to it.

farmer's cheese recipe

I had never seen farmer’s cheese at my local stores. Probably because not all stores sell it, therefore, I never noticed. Fresh homemade is always better and I know the quality of my cheese. With organic milk and vinegar, I spend $7 maximum to make around 7-8 cups of farmer’s cheese. Most times, I would catch organic milk reduced in price with few days left until expiration date and that would make my cheese about $4. Such a great penny saver!

Farmer’s cheese is one of the easiest and delicious fillings to use for rolls, pastries, cakes and more. Like most Ukrainians, I LOVE farmer’s cheese and I bake a lot with it.

Best Milk for Homemade Farmer’s Cheese:

Try to use good quality milk. How do you know if it’s good quality? You really don’t. But, brands such as Organic Valley or Smith Brothers always were the best and always provide quality cheese. In fact, Organic Valley is the only milk I buy lately.

Use 2% or whole milk. Try avoiding 1% or anything below. Cheese with 1% turns out like sand. The million pieces don’t really connect and it’s hard to work with when baking. It just falls apart. Whole milk creates the best cheese. The cheese turns out thick and rich in flavor. The 2% is a bit thinner and works great as well. I try my best to avoid half & half and heavy cream, even if to add a bit to the rest of the milk. You will have hard time draining the cheese, as the cheese will look more like pudding in your pot and get stuck in the cheese cloth.

farmer's cheese recipe

Can You Freeze Homemade Farmer’s Cheese?

Yes! I sometimes do it, but not often. To freeze cheese: cool, wrap in plastic food wrap and place into freezer bag. Keep up to 3 months. The frozen cheese texture differs a bit from freshly made cheese and becomes a bit fall-apart, but works great for Cheese Pancakes (sirniki) and other breakfast recipes. Therefore, I do it all the time. I take the cheese out to thaw overnight at room temperature to use in the morning. My family loves sirniki; kids especially.

Important Tips for Making Farmer’s Cheese:

1. Use Heinz distilled white vinegar for best results. My mom has tested different brands and from some of the brands the cheese didn’t want to turn out the way it’s supposed to.

2. Use stainless steel pot if you have one. The nonstick takes forever to bring the milk to bubble and you will most likely end up with milk scorching at the bottom of the pot.

3. Use Flour Sack Towel instead of cheese cloth. I bought it at my local Walmart and cut into 4 squares. It’s thick and works perfect for cheese making. Wash used flour sack towel in hot water with lightly soapy water, dry and re-use. From experience, cheese gets stuck in cheese cloth and usually they are pricier and one time use.

Farmer’s Cheese Ingredients:

farmer's cheese recipe

How to Make Farmer’s Cheese:

  1. Heat milk over medium-low until you see hundreds little bubbles appear, but do not bring to a boil. (it would take 30-40 minutes). Stir occasionally to prevent the milk from scorching at the bottom of the pot.
  2. Once you see lots of bubbles popping, slowly add distilled white vinegar and give it a gentle stir and wait for 30-60 seconds. Then stir again. The cheese will curdle (become crumbly) and the water should be lime-yellow-ish color. If it doesn’t, add a bit more vinegar until you do see that color of water. Remove from heat to cool to room temperature.
  3. Line a sieve or a colander with a flour sack towel. Slowly pour the cheese into the cloth to catch the curds. Gather the cloth around cheese and squeeze it as much as you can to get all the whey out. When you start seeing white-ish liquid coming out instead of lime color, you can stop there. *If saving whey (the lime water), drain the cheese into a bowl. People use whey for bread, different cooking and gardening. 
  4. Refrigerate farmer’s cheese once cooled and keep it in refrigerator for up to a week.
how to make homemade cheese

Enjoy These Farmer’s Cheese Recipes:

homemade cheese recipe
My mom's method for Homemade Farmer's Cheese. So easy, fresh and delicious every time. Takes less than an hour to make and enjoy hours later once cooled and drained. | olgainthekitchen.com

Homemade Farmer's Cheese (tvorog)

5 from 24 votes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 41 minutes

My mom's method for Homemade Farmer's Cheese. So easy, fresh and delicious every time. Takes less than an hour to make and enjoy hours later once cooled and drained. A 2-ingredient recipe that you will always want to make and keep in your fridge!

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon whole milk (preferably organic)
  • 1/2 cup Heinz distilled white vinegar

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 gallon milk over medium-low until you see hundreds little bubbles appear, but do not bring to a boil. (it would take 30-40 minutes). Stir occasionally to prevent the milk from scorching at the bottom of the pot.

  2. Once you see lots of bubbles popping, slowly add 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar, give it a gentle stir and wait for 30-60 seconds. Then stir again. The cheese will curdle (become crumbly) and the water should be lime/yellow-ish color. If it doesn’t, add a bit more vinegar until you do see that color of water. Remove from heat to cool to room temperature.

  3. Line a sieve or a colander with a flour sack towel. Slowly pour the cheese into the cloth to catch the curds. Gather the cloth around cheese and squeeze it as much as you can to get all the whey out. When you start seeing white-ish liquid coming out instead of lime color, you can stop there. *If saving whey (the lime water), drain the cheese into a bowl. People use whey for bread, different cooking and gardening. 

  4. Refrigerate farmer’s cheese once cooled and keep it in refrigerator for up to a week.

Recipe Notes

  • Use Heinz distilled white vinegar for best results.
  • Use stainless steel pot to less likely end up with scorching at the bottom of the pot.

  • Use Flour Sack Towel instead of cheese cloth. 
  • To freeze farmer's cheese: cool, wrap in plastic food wrap and place into freezer bag. Keep up to 3 months. The frozen cheese texture differs a bit from freshly made cheese and becomes a bit fall-apart, but works great for Cheese Pancakes (sirniki) and other breakfast recipes. Take the cheese out to thaw overnight at room temperature to use in the morning. 

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @olgainthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #olgainthekitchen - I'd love to see your creations!

 

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Comments (Page 5/5)

  • Miri

    Hi. Love farmer cheese. How much does this recipe yield? Wanted to know if I can make 1/2 or 1/4 of the recipe at a time? I like having it fresh but don’t want it to go bad.

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Hi Miri! If using whole milk, I usually have 4 cups if you were to crumble into measuring cup (not packed). A 2% milk will yield slightly less and 1% even less. Just keep in mind that with 1% milk, the cheese will have very small crumbles and it’s a little complicated to use in baking as filling as it falls apart. You can definitely make a smaller serving and follow same instructions. Cheese stays good for a week in refrigerator.

  • Maya

    Thank you! Just made my first batch and it is amazing!
    Do you have any recipes with whey! There is a lot of it.

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      I usually throw away the whey unless it’s summer and I use it for treating my garden vegetables. I don’t have any recipes for whey, sorry, but I will keep that in mind and maybe try to come out with few :).

  • Francis Border

    I stumbled across this recipe and could not be more delighted. I never knew farmer’s cheese was something that could be made at home. My mom used to buy it when my family was stationed in Chile in the 1980s. It became a staple at breakfast every morning with French bread. I loved it so much. When I moved back to the USA, I never saw it in any of the supermarkets, so I guess I figured “queso fresco” or “quesillo,” as it was called, was a South American thing and just a beautiful memory from my adolescence. I just made it this morning with your recipe, formed it into a long roll, have chilled it, and I just sliced some and had it on a piece of baguette. I did add a tiny pinch of salt, though. . Gracious! It brought back every sort of wholesome memory! Thank you. I can’t wait for the next time my family are over. I will set it out and wait for what they say.

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      That’s so awesome, Francis! Thank you for sharing that with us and I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe!

  • Francis Bordet

    I stumbled across this recipe and could not be more delighted. I never knew farmer’s cheese was something that could be made at home. My mom used to buy it when my family was stationed in Chile in the 1980s. It became a staple at breakfast every morning with French bread. I loved it so much. When I moved back to the USA, I never saw it in any of the supermarkets, so I guess I figured “queso fresco” or “quesillo,” as it was called, was a South American thing and just a beautiful memory from my adolescence. I just made it this morning with your recipe, formed it into a long roll, have chilled it, and I just sliced some and had it on a piece of baguette. I did add a tiny pinch of salt, though. . Gracious! It brought back every sort of wholesome memory! Thank you. I can’t wait for the next time my family are over. I will set it out and wait for what they say.

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