December 2012 was a huge month for making cheese, as I have previously said. My last Cheese of 2012 and I guess, the first cheese of 2013 capped off a 5 cheese month, and I name thee Jarlsberg. But as always I will put the disclaimer that this cheese will be in the Jarlsberg style and probably taste similar but not exactly the same, you know the deal with cows, climate etc. I love Jarlsberg, so do a few people I work with, one of whom is Norwegian and has asked me to make this for some time. I hope I don’t disappoint him. Are you sitting comfortably? Then lets begin.
Jarlsberg is produced by the Norwegian Dairy/Cheese Company TINE. Here is what it says about Jarlsberg on their site – Jarlsberg – A Worldwide Success Story
“Jarlsberg has grown largely in popularity since its international launch in the 1960s. It’s success lies in the secret recipe used to manufacture the cheese and the people who make it and their pride in always delivering a product with the same consistent high quality and unique taste.
In 1956 a research team from the Agricultural University of Norway started experimenting with old cheese recipes from the Laurvig and Jarlsberg counties in the South of Norway. They developed a semihard, medium-fat cheese with holes, successfully combining old cheese-making traditions with modern technologies. The team called the new cheese Jarlsberg® after the county it came from. A new cheese category was born.
The export of Jarlsberg started cautiously in 1961. Today sales of Jarlsberg, globally, has exceeded more than 25.000 tonnes. The various varieties of Jarlsberg account for well over 80% of Tine’s export today, with Jarlsberg being the number one selling brand in its segment of imported cheese in the United States and Canada.
Jarlsberg is found in many markets around the world and used as a delicious ingredient in many recipes. It is well appreciated by leading chefs for its distinctive sweet and nutty taste. Jarlsberg is available in rinded and rindless varieties and is ideal for cheeseboards and as a topping for salads and hot dishes.”
This was going to be a challenge for me, I had just made an Emmental style cheese at Smoky Valley a few days before, but this is also a washed curd cheese, a hybrid of sorts, a combination of an Emmental and Gouda. I looked over several recipes, from Mary Karlin’s Book and the Emmental from Gianaclis Caldwell’s book and a few other sources as well. There are many different directions out there, but the main difference is the cultures that are recommended. Several recommend using Mesophilic culture to make it, this would make to me would make it a Maasdam (Gouda with eyes). While others recommended that you use Thermophilc culture. There were some that suggested using saltpeter to control the propionic acid. I decided to use a hybrid of a recipe to make this hybrid cheese. I combined Mary Karlin’s Jarlsberg with Gianaclis Caldwell’s Semi-Hard Cheese with Eyes. I think I made a pretty good cheese but time will tell.
Now the recipe called for 3 millimetre curd, what could I have that would cut it that small…
During this time I was heating distilled water to 70C so that I could begin the washing of the curd. Part of the problem is how to remove the whey without taking curd with it….
After you remove the whey you then start to add the hot water back into the vat about 1 cup at a time. The goal is to raise the temperature of the curd, at the same time cutting the acidity of the cheese.
Now after you have added the water, raising the temperature to around 40C then you have to heat the curd and bring it up to 50C , while stirring at the same time. This causes the curd to shrink and loose more whey. You want pea to rice size cur at this point. Now you let the curd settle and then it is time to drain and hoop the cheese.
The directions for this time say that you have to gather the curd in the vat with the cheesecloth and then put into a colander and then into your mould. I could not get the curd into the cloth so I lined the colander with my cheesecloth and dumped vat into it. I then I put it into the mould and what did you know I had issues getting my press locked down.
At this time the curds were still quite warm and I wanted to keep them this way. I put the press in a stainless steel pot, then I put the pot in my sink and put hot water in the sink. This way the heat from the water would heat the pot and reflect back on the cheese.
I have had issues with thermophlic cheeses sticking to my cheesecloth, I really need to switch to plyban, so I decided to do the final press….naked!….Before you go hey Ian I thought this was a family friendly site, I mean with no cheesecloth.
So after a brine bath at 2.5 hours per pound it was time to pull young Jarl out and get ready for the cool ageing period, 10 to 14 days in the cave.
As of the day I write this little Jarl here is starting to puff a little, he has two more days in cold phase, then into a ripening box and he will sit next to my cave at 95% RH for 3 to 4 weeks to let the propionic acid do it’s thing and create CO2 and make him have some nice eyes. I will write more when the warm phase is done.
In the mean time go make some cheese.