This post should really be called “How NOT to Make Gjetost.” It took us four times to get it right. FOUR. This is such a simple recipe to make, yet we bungled 3 batches of it before winding up with the cheese we were hoping for. I’m glad we persisted, as gjetost has a flavor unlike any cheese I’ve ever had before that is nothing short of fantastic. Yes, I know, it doesn’t look like much, but trust me in that it’s something great. Kind of sweet, a little sharp, somewhat mild but still tangy. It’s such a complex, round flavor that it’s hard to believe that it’s really easy to make.
Here’s how you do it:
1. Pour whey into a pot.
2. Reduce it down over low heat until it’s gjetost.
That’s it. You can sprinkle SOME salt into the whey, but that’s how we ruined the first batch. We added the salt to the cheese we were making before the whey had been separated, and the result was so bad Rachel wouldn’t even let me turn it over to the cat. The salt content was so high she was worried that it’d shut down her kidneys. So, salt only a LITTLE bit, AFTER the curds have been separated.
The second time, we wound up getting caught up in the day and missed when it reduced all the way down. The bottom burned because we didn’t start stirring it when it got to that point. Shame on us.
The third time, we used whey from a vinegar-based (rather than rennet-based) cheese. The resulting product was disgusting. Ahh well, nothing ventured nothing gained, right?
The fourth time… bliss! We’ve tried it on crackers, though admittedly the crackers are underwhelming. So, I had to settle for this:
This is a sophisticated food; far more than what we’re used to seeing in this kitchen. I imagine a nice piece of crusty bread would be a good fit, especially something like sourdough. We’ll have to do some experimenting.
That’s the best part of homesteading; the experiments are usually tasty. We’ll have to update you when we find a suitable pairing!