Kesong puti is a soft, white cheese similar to cottage cheese that is made from unskimmed carabao’s milk, salt and Rennet or white vinegar. It has a soft, close texture and slight salty taste. Here’s the recipe on how to make kesong puti or the Filipino white cheese using vinegar.
1 liter (4 cups) carabao’s milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup white vinegar
1. In a double boiler, heat milk and salt for about 15 minutes.
2. Turn off heat then add the vinegar. The curds will form at this point. Note the whey (yellow liquid) forming at the top. Leave the mixture to cool and set for at least an hour.
3. When cool to the touch, pour the mixture over a fine-screen strainer to drain out the whey. The resulting curd is already a kesong puti and is ready for use if a creamy, spreadable cheese is the desired outcome.
4. To make a firmer cheese, press down with a spoon or spatula until more of the whey drips out. Or place a saucer on top of the cheese and weigh down using a heavy object, like a water-filled bottle, to press more of the whey out.
5. To form cheese into the desired shape, place it in the center of a sheet of plastic wrap. Bundle the corners of the sheet together to create a pouch. Place this in a cup or rectangular plastic container, and press down. Refrigerate until the cheese sets, at least 30 minutes. When ready, remove cheese from cup or container, unwrap and serve on plate.
Note: If carabao’s milk is not available, commercial milk in tetra packs labeled “pure” or ” full fresh cow’s milk” will do just as well. If you prefer low-fat milk, double the amount of white vinegar used.
Source: Claude Tayag – Food magazine