There are probably as many ways to make cottage cheese at home as there are to make butter. The method that I've always used is super-simple and turns out a product that is as good as anything you can buy. Actually I think it's even better!
The only caveat I'll throw in here is that I've never made the cottage cheese with anything other than raw milk. So I truly don't know what results you would get using store bought milk. I've used both whole and skim raw milk with very good results.
Okay, let's make cottage cheese.
Pour two quarts of milk in a large saucepan.
Over a medium heat, and using a thermometer, bring the milk just up to 190 degrees. I find this usually takes about 15 minutes. I give the milk a stir now and then during this period just to make sure the heat is getting distributed evenly through the milk.
Pour the milk into a ceramic bowl and add 1/4 cup white vinegar.
Give the milk and vinegar a stir and you will immediately see curds forming. Let this mixture sit on the counter at room temperature for 2 hours.
At the end of the 2 hours, using a large strainer, carefully pour the liquid and curds into the strainer. You can discard the liquid.
Using cold water, give the curds a good rinsing until the water coming out is clear.
Put the curds in a bowl, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and mix in heavy cream to get the consistency desired. I usually use about 1/2 cup of cream.
Here it is . . . over 2 cups of cottage cheese from 2 quarts of milk.
We use it in any way you might use purchased cottage cheese.
I like to make a kind of a fruit cup to serve with breakfast. Put as much cottage cheese as you like in a serving dish, and add chunks of fruit of your choice: apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, etc. Pour a small amount of orange juice over mixture in the dish.
For lunch in the summer, I often serve a dish of cottage cheese with assorted chopped veggies. (I especially like this with French dressing drizzled over the top.)
As long as I have fresh chives growing in the garden, I always mix a bunch in with our cottage cheese. When I was growing up, in the spring time the grocery stores would offer cottage cheese with or without chives, but I don't think they do that anymore.
If any of you try it with store bought milk, I'd be interested in knowing if this method works. Whichever way you try it, I hope it works for you.
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