Jānis' Cheese (Jāņu siers)

This cheese is traditionally prepared for eating on the most important of all Latvian festivals: Jāņi. However, it can be made and eaten at any time. It goes great with rye bread, and would feel right at home as part of a cold buffet (i.e. a Latvian smorgasbord.

4 - 5 pounds dry cottage cheese or ricotta 2 Kg
2 - 3 tablespoonsoil30 - 45 ml
10 quarts milk10 litres
1 teaspoon yellow food colouring 5 ml (optional)
1 - 2 teaspoons lemon juice 5 - 10 ml (may be unnecessary)

5 - 6 ounces butter160 gm
6 eggs
1 tablespoon caraway seeds15 ml
1 tablespoon salt15 ml

Drain off any liquid in the cottage cheese. Put it through a Cuisinart or blender to make sure it is finely ground. Use a large Dutch oven or stock pot. Put oil in pot, add milk (and yellow food colouring, if desired). Heat to boiling. Then add cottage cheese and keep stirring.

If milk mixture doesn't curdle within about 5 minutes, add the lemon juice. When curdled, strain off all liquid. Place cheese mass in cheese cloth (gauze) and wring out any remaining moisture.

Melt the butter in the pot, put in the cheese mass and heat until hot. Meanwhile beat eggs together with salt and caraway sees. Gradually add beaten egg mixture to heated cheese mass.

Mix well and keep on stirring until it all balls up and becomes a bit stretchy. Remove from heat and pack into a number of small round-bottomed bowls. (Alternately, shape into small cheese wheels, and wrap in cheese cloth.) Cover, and keep cool.

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This page created and maintained by
A. Steinbergs

Last revised September 17, 2008