I’ve shared a lot of unique recipes for pierogi fillings recently. It has been fun but I want to share some traditional fillings as well. Besides potato pierogi, cheese filled pierogi are very popular. Most cheese filled pierogi are made with farmer’s cheese. Back home in Pennsylvania, it is easy to find farmer’s cheese in most grocery stores. I use to buy it from Wegman’s.
I’ve had a hard time finding farmer’s cheese in Denver. The local cheese shops gave me recommendations for similar cheeses but it does not taste like home. So if I can’t buy it I might as well make it. I did my research and it turns out farmer’s cheese is really easy to make. It only contains two ingredients, milk and vinegar.
To start gather the ingredients and equipment. You will need a half gallon of whole milk, white or apple cider vinegar, 4 quart pot, measuring cup, colander, and cheese cloth. Having a candy thermometer helps as well but is not necessary. I bought my cheese cloth and candy thermometer from Sur La Table. They were reasonably priced and I actually use the cheese cloth a lot.
Add the half gallon milk to 4 quart pot and cook on medium heat. Stir the milk frequently. I did not do this the first time and the milk burnt the bottom of my pot. Cook until the milk becomes frothy. This will take 30-45 minutes. If you have a thermometer, cook till the milk reaches 190° F then remove from heat.
Add 1/4 cup of vinegar to the milk and stir for 1 minute. You will see the cheese curds start to separate. Let sit for 15 minutes.
Next, line a colander with cheese cloth over the sink. Using a measuring cup, add the curds to the cheese cloth. Let drain till you can not squeeze anymore liquid from the cheese cloth. The last time I tried this I let it drain for a half hour.
If you are going to us this for filling you can add the cheese to a container and crumble the cheese with yours hands. Add a little salt and it is ready to go into the pierogi. If you want to serve it alone or on a cheese plate, place the cheese in the cheese cloth on a plate and rest something heavy on it for 10 minutes. I used a cast iron bowl. This will give the cheese a wheel shape and drain more water from the cloth.
That is all there is so it! I never thought I would be able to make cheese but it was so easy!
- 1 half gallon whole milk
- 1/4 cup vinegar (white or apple cider)
- Cook milk in a 4 quart pot on medium heat till it starts to froth. This will take 30-45 minutes or until the milk reaches 190 degrees.
- Remove from heat and add vinegar. Stir for one minute. The cheese curds with start to separate. Let sit for 15 minutes.
- Line a colander with a cheese cloth over a sink. Add the cheese curds to the cheese cloth and let them drain. Drain cheese until there is no liquid left in the cheese cloth.
- Transfer cheese to a container and crumble with hands. Add some salt and the cheese is ready to stuff into a pierogi.