Homemade Cottage Cheese

Making Homemade Cottage Cheese from Raw Milk

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My mother loves cottage cheese and told me her mother made it when she was a child. She put clabbered milk in a cloth bag and hung it from a clothes line to let all the liquid drain from it.

In the past, people usually made cottage cheese from sour or clabber milk.

Cottage cheese was also called “smearcase” and clabber milk was also known as “loppered milk.”

Soured milk was fresh raw milk that was left sitting out without refrigeration. The milk becomes sour and then begins to ferment.

Clabber is sour, raw milk that has thickened.

The milk you buy from grocery stores is pasteurized (heated). When pasteurized, many of the beneficial bacteria is killed. The beneficial bacteria is what causes raw milk to sour naturally. When pasteurized milk sours, it just goes bad.



Put a pan of sour or loppered milk on the stove or range where it is not too hot. Let it scald until the whey rises to the top (be careful that it does not boil, or the curd will become hard and tough). Place a clean doth or towel over a sieve and pour this whey and curd into it, leaving it covered to drain two or three hours. Then put it into a dish and chop it fine with a spoon, adding a teaspoonful of salt, a tablespoonful of butter and enough sweet cream to make the cheese the consistency of putty. With your hands make it into little balls flattened. Keep it in a cool place. Many like it made rather thin with cream, serving it in a deep dish.

When the tea-kettle boils, pour the water into a pan of “loppered” milk. It will curd at once. Stir it and turn it into a colander, pour a little cold water over it, salt it and break it up. A better way is to put equal parts of buttermilk and thick milk in a kettle over the fire, heat it almost boiling hot, pour into a linen bag and let it drain till next day. Then take it out, salt it, put in a little cream or butter, as it may be thick or not, and make it up into balls the size of an orange.

Put some sour milk in a warm place until the whey begins to separate from the curd, but by no means let it get hard. Pour the curd into a three-cornered bag in the shape of a pudding bag, hang it up and let it drain until no more water will drip from it. Then turn it out into a pan, mash the curd very fine and smooth with a wooden spoon. Add as much good rich cream as will make it about as thick as batter. Salt it to your taste. Sprinkle pepper over the top if you choose.

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Do You Like Cottage Cheese?  Have You Ever Tried Raw Milk?
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  1. I’ve never tried this, but it sure sounds a darned sight better than the stuff from the grocery. So if I can find some raw milk I just may try it. BTW, I sent your article about how to keep eggs longer when hens aren’t laying in the winter, to my daughter in Oklahoma. She has chickens and was thrilled to get this information. I love your vintage recipes!!

    • Thank you for sharing my post with your daughter. I love going through old cookbooks. One of these days I’m going to get my own place and practice some of the things I learn. In the meantime, I buy organic if I can, and try to eat natural and wholesome foods. I’m glad you’re enjoying the vintage recipes.

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