I am constantly on the look out for new techniques to try with my cheesemaking, so when I heard of David Asher’s blog and his upcoming book, The Art Of Natural Cheesemaking, I just had to check things out. He recently posted his version of a Mason Jar Marcellin, a true lactic cheese that used raw milk and natural Geotrichum to ripen the milk. I don’t have access to raw milk but I figured that I might be able to make a version using store milk.
Though it may not be true to the original vision or spirit of David Asher’s version, but I think I may be on track with my “Little Squirrel In A Jar” version.One of my main issues I have with making lactic cheeses, is the salt. I either put too much or not enough, so I have started using a technique I learned while working with Smoky Valley Artisan Cheese, I added the salt to the milk and then heated it.
The next day I took a pinch of rennet I am trialling and mixed it with some distilled water and then added it to the milk. The bowl was placed back into the fridge
I had ripened the cheese at 23 degrees Celsius, the temperature in my unplugged ripening fridge. This proved to be a good thing as on Day 4 I was greeted with a Geotrichum Bloom.
After 2 days of draining the curd was the right consistency to be packed into small mason jars and put back into a 10 degree Celsius fridge until the secondary bloom happened.
I was excited to see that by day 9 the secondary bloom had started, but I would give it until day 9 before I put the lids on.
Now was the time to put the lids on the cheese to create their own “Micro Caves” and finish aging at between 3 – 5 degrees Celsius.
They will now sit in the fridge for another month before they should be “ready.”
Update – One Week In The Fridge
I don’t have a picture, but I did sample some of the cheese from one of the jars that I labeled “tester” and so far it is on track. You get a peppery flavour from the Geotrichum surface and a mild lactic flavour from the paste. It is soft in some parts and a little firm in others. I can’t wait to see what they will be like after another 3 weeks. I am glad I have 10 more to sample.