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Simple Fresh Goat Cheese

Delicious cheese is easier to make at home than you might think. Try this recipe from Lisa Schwartz's "Over the Rainbeau" book -- it's surprisingly simple, and wonderful to make with kids.

  • Yield: Makes 8 to 10 ounces
Simple Fresh Goat Cheese

Source: The Martha Stewart Show


  • 1 quart goats' milk
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Coarse salt
  • Finely chopped fresh herbs, such as parcel and lovage (optional)


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat milk until it reaches 180 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Let stand until set, about 15 seconds. If milk does not set, add a little more lemon juice.

  2. Line a colander with several layers of cheesecloth. Ladle set milk into colander. Tie the four corners of cheesecloth together; hang on the handle of a wooden spoon set over a deep bowl and let drain until it is the consistency of slightly dry cottage cheese, 1 to 2 hours. Transfer to a bowl and fold in salt and herbs, if desired. Store in an airtight container, refrigerated, up to 1 week.


Reviews (18)

  • caquilla 7 Dec, 2010

    I made that mistake the 1st time I made it too, but I kept going with the project anyway. It doesn't look like it will work when it's in the pan, but after straining through quad thickness cheesecloth, I had cheese. It was a little finer in texture and there was less of it than when I used cow's milk, but I wouldn't call it a failure. And it was delicious!

  • jnnelson0 28 Nov, 2010

    You need to use fresh raw goats milk for better bought milk has had all the useful bacteria removed through pasturization..the fresh raw milk will has give a better flavor to your cheese

  • lbullock 9 Aug, 2010

    Sure wish I'd known about the ultra-pasturized milk . Who knew that there is pasturized AND unpasturized milk?!!! Any suggestions as to what to do ith a quart of lemony goats milk? I was doing this as a project with my granddaugher and hate to just throw it out.

  • retired50 9 Aug, 2010

    Went to the market and bought a quart of goats milk off the shelf and fresh lemons. Came home broke out a pot and brought the goat milk to 180F and removed it from the heat and added the juice of tow large lemons and nothing. Added the juice of another lemon and nothing. I am left with a pot of warm lemon flavored goat milk. This recipe needs to be addressed and updated indicating if you should use raw goat milk, pasteurized or double pasteurized goat milk. Such a waste of food : (

  • writercook 18 Mar, 2010

    Regarding ultra-pasturized milk: only use "pasturized" milk. The high heat from "ultra-pasturization" kills the helpful bacteria that aids the cheese-making process.
    Check out the cheesemaking book by by Ricki Carroll.

  • acermann 14 Mar, 2010

    Delicious but having a problem with texture. Very small crumbles that will not
    spread on a cracker. Using pasturized goat milk (not ultra) Any ideas??

  • luckyncharms222 24 Jan, 2010

    I also used Ultra Pastereurized Goats Milk and it did not curdle. I have made cow's milk cheese a few times without issue. What a waste :(

  • ravenbishop 31 Dec, 2009

    This was a hit at my New Year's Eve dinner with my friends!
    I made a second batch of sweet cheese using apple cider vinegar and Merlot in place of the lemon. When fully strained I folded in honey and nutmeg (and a little fresh micro-planed garlic--sounds strange, but was just what it needed). We served this with sweet apple bread and Moscato wine. Thanks Martha and Rainbeau!

  • jackiesiegrist 30 Dec, 2009

    If I use cows milk, what will it taste like?

  • KaylinMichelle 16 Nov, 2009

    I tried it and had wonderful results as well! I seasoned mine with parsley and garlic salt. Great on butter crackers! I will be serving this at Thankgsiving as one of a few small appetizers prior to the main meal.

  • DCJim 11 Nov, 2009

    I am sorry to tell you all that I do not know what went wrong with your attempts. I just tried it, and it worked fine. I was a little unsure if it worked or not as the mixture just looks kinda curdled after you add the lemon juice (in 15 seconds, not minutes). In fact, I was surprised that the whole mixture didn't just go through the cheesecloth/strainer down the drain....but it did not. And it is delicious. I recommend trying again!. Just ordered the book!

  • Bengalrose 11 Nov, 2009

    The Cheese Show has inspired me to buy some cheese cloth.and a brand new thermometer, I used cow's milk and lemon juice,it was easy and simply delicious,

  • flatcreekfarmgrl 9 Nov, 2009

    I am having the same reaction. Could it be because I used Ultra Pastereurized Goats Milk?

  • iloveuk 7 Nov, 2009

    I am using goats milk, fresh lemon juice and a brand new thermometer, but after adding the initial lemon juice, and more, and more I am still getting no reaction. Is it really supposed to set after just 15 SECONDS not 15 MINUTES? What could have gone wrong?

  • Ajaire 5 Nov, 2009

    On a whim I tried this with powdered goat's milk tonight. It worked just as well and is so delicious!

  • rainbeau 5 Nov, 2009

    Yes, cow's milk is ok. Use about 2-3 Tbl apple cider vinegar. If you don't get the acidification after a few seconds, add a little more vinegar gradually. Enjoy!

  • KaylinMichelle 5 Nov, 2009

    I just watched the show on this on television and they said that you can use cow's milk. They also said you can substitute vinegar for the lemon juice, but I'm not sure of the amount.

  • stephLjones 5 Nov, 2009

    I wonder if this recipe would work with cow's milk.

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