Monday, 14 March 2011

Fromage blanc - made with milk pre-treated with lactase

fromage blanc with fruit

Its a tricky business knowing how much lactose is left in cultured / fermented milk products.  I know I can't normally eat cheese, yoghurt etc without experiencing ill effects, so I have been trying out various uses of milk I have pre-treated with lactase.

Today's adventure was to make fromage blanc - white cheese, as close to the desert we get in the French Alps as possible.

I bought some lactic culture form Lyofast, Strain MO 032, a couple of years ago.  I used some from the sachet, and the rest I put in the freezer.  I had no idea whether the culture was still viable - I only remembered where it was as I found it every time I cleaned the freezer!

A litre of jersey milk was treated for 24hrs with six drops of lactase.  I then stirred in the freeze-dried lactic culture (without warming the milk) and put it in my yoghurt maker.  This is an electric warming pot that keeps the temperature steady at the right point. I have the yoghurt maker uk from Lakeland Ltd.  I used to use a thermos but they are harder to clean, and the thermos soon smells of yoghurt even when scrubbed.

I left it overnight and the milk set to a smooth curd. I strained this through some cheesecloth then spooned some of the curd into little perforated heart -shaped moulds to drain further.

I served it with mixed fruit compot (last year's garden produce) and, on the blue plate, some lactase-treated cream.

fromage blanc, fruit and cream

This has a flavour and texture that is different from yoghurt.  It is smooth, mild and holds it's shape.  I am running another batch using a spoonful of today's curd to see if it works the same way yoghurt does.  I only buy a 'new' pot of starter yoghurt when I have forgotten to keep some of the previous batch, so it lives forever the same way my sourdough cultures used to.

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