Tvorog is a very popular and nutritious dairy product that is very similar to western cottage cheese, though most Russians will swear by tvorog. Similarly to cottage cheese, this is an extremely easy cheese to make at home, and a lot cheaper. It is commonly used in a variety of baked goods as well as eaten plain or with and berries.
- 1 gallon of whole milk
- 16 oz package of sour cream (kefir can be used as well)
If you find yourself some raw milk, you won’t need any additional ingredients. Pasteurization tends to kill all the useful bacteria in milk.
To mix the milk and the sour cream together, add the milk to the sour cream. Add a small amount at a time while mixing to form a uniform mixture. Once the mixture is relatively thin, add the remainder of the milk. You do this to avoid forming clumps of sour cream in the mix.
You need to set aside the mix in a warm place. Near the stove/oven is usually a good place. Let it stand for about 2-3 days until the mix starts to curdle. It will develop a jello like mass that can easily separate from the walls of the pot.
Once it has the desired consistency, place the pot in a 250 F oven for about an hour. Remove from the oven and let it cool overnight.
Now you’ll have to separate the curd from the whey. For this, you will need a cheese cloth or a large square of gauze. Similarly to draining pasta, place the cheese cloth over another pot and pour the whey and curd into it through the cheese cloth.
Carefully lift the cheese cloth by its edges making sure to not spill any curd. Tie the cheese cloth and hang it over the whey.
Let it drain for the day or overnight, and you have yourself some tvorog. If you want to get it down to the moisture content of farmer’s cheese, press the cheese cloth between two cutting boards and let it sit for another day. The tvorog will keep in the fridge for about a week.