Friday, September 9, 2011

The Results Are In!

As promised, I made juustoa with the recipe that the commentor, "Violet", sent me.  It worked just fine, as I expected.  I did not drain the curd as I normally do, but did as Violet suggested, and used my hands to gently scoop the curds into the broiling pan.  Actually, it was kind of fun playing with the curds by hand!  The result was that I had more whey expressed from the juustoa during broiling than I normally have, but that was remedied by more frequent draining during the broiling. 

The final juustoa was more moist/soft because of the extra whey left in the cheese using this process.  That is neither a bad thing or a good thing.  Just different.  Also, the extra sugar vs my recipe made a sweeter cheese.  I ususally cut down on the salt from the recipe I posted, but used the full amount this time.  So it turned out more savory.  The cheese still squeaks when you bite into it.  All in all, Violet's recipe works great and tastes great, too. I had no issues with the curds being grainy or falling apart.  They held their shape beautifully.

What's the verdict?  Well, my wife, MJ, who grew up on juustoa in the UP of Michigan liked it as did I.  I'd make this one again.  It also shows that you can vary the recipe and process to produce a juustoa that is tailored to your individual taste:  more or less sugar, more or less salt, more firm or softer cheese by varying the time and way you drain the whey, etc. 

So, my recommendation is find a recipe and feel free to experiment.  Then settle on a process that makes a personal favorite.  Just stay away from homogenized milk, or the curds end up weak and grainy.  Before the year is out, I will try juustoa made with powdered milk so I can report on that method.  I am skeptical, but willing to give it a shot.  So, Violet, if you get to make juustoa with powdered milk before I do, please tell me how it turned out! 

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear that this recipe worked out for you. It's fun to experiment with different variations. I was watching a woman making juustua on the local news recently and she was pressing the curds into the cake pans to try to pack as much in as possible. I haven't tried the powdered milk yet but plan on it this winter. Like you, I want to try some other cheeses. I just got the parts to my cheese press in the mail and I am going to try a cheddar very soon. I hope you can solve the mold problem on your salut.