A couple of weeks ago, I professed my love for petit suisse right here in this blog. I promised you that I would be back with more and my attempt to make them at home. Well here I am, not triumphant, as I had presumed. Let me explain.
I had been searching for a petit suisse recipe for a long time but had not been very successful. Finally a few days ago, I did find a recipe to make fromage frais. This recipe indicated that this was also the method to make petit suisse and since the ingredients were easy to find and the method seemed fairly uncomplicated, I decided to go for it.
There is something about making cheese, yogurt or bread at home that is very rewarding to me. Almost spiritual. Maybe because bacteria and yeast are living organisms that really require attention and depending on the hands of the person handling it, the results can be quite different. I like that. I like inconsistency, I like little flaws, I like the imperfection. Of course nowadays, there are machines that control all variables of the fermenting process resulting in a consistent product everytime, which is necessary in commercial production, but I still find the process of making it myself very rewarding.
So the resulting cheese was basically plain unsalted, fromage frais. Very, very good flavor and texture but it was not petit suisse. I tried to research more about the petit suisse method and learned that heavy cream is added after the curd has formed. It was unclear to me how I was supposed to proceed after that. So if any of you know the answer, please… I need you!
Cherries from California also showed up at Whole Foods which has made my week. I have been eating cherries all day long. They are as addicting as sunflower seeds. I cannot stop. Here is a little crumble I made for dessert a couple of nights ago. I topped it with a little bit of the fromage blanc and it was delicious.
Yields about 200 grams of final product
2 liters organic whole milk
30 ml organic cultured buttermilk
1/8 tablet of rennet
30 ml water
Sterilize a large pot by covering and boiling a small amount of water in it for 5 minutes prior to use. Pour in the fresh milk, then the buttermilk. Warm up stirring to a final temperature of 65°F. Meanwhile, dissolve rennet in 30 ml of cool water. Stir dissolved rennet into heated milk. Stir well to blend thoroughly. Cover and let sit undisturbed overnight at room temperature.
The next morning, a soft curd should have formed; if not, let it sit until it does form which could take up to an additional 12 hours (mine was done overnight). When the curd is adequately formed, cut it into 1/2 inch cubes. Ladle cut curds into clean sterile cheesecloth suspended in a large strainer or stainless steel colander. Pour remaining whey through the cloth.
The next day, open the cloth to reveal the cheese. I spooned it into ring molds but any cleaned yogurt container can be used to store it. I covered mine with a damp paper towel so the top doesn’t dry out.
100 grams unsalted butter
100 grams sugar
100 grams flour
125 grams almond flour
Cream all ingredients together in an electric mixer. It will be crumbly. Place on a cookie sheet or in an air tight container and refrigerate over night. I normally make a large batch and freeze it and then I bake what I need.
200 grams pitted cherries
25 grams flour
30 grams sugar (depends on the sweetness of the fruit)
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 vanilla bean, split
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Divide filling into four ramekins and sprinkle with a generous amount of crumble. Bake in a 350F oven. Cover the ramekins with aluminum foil for the first 10-15 minutes, then let them finish baking for another 15 minutes or until crumble is golden brown.