Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Red Leicester and Asiago Pepato. Tuesday 25th August 2015
On the weekend I decided it was time to experiment with some new cheeses, perhaps to be ready in time for Christmas. I have been inspired by watching some episodes of Will Studd's Cheese Slices although I ended up deciding that I didn't have time to do some of the more fiddly cheeses like those made by Trappist monks on France. Another day when I don't have other jobs to do!
So I decided on trying some of the Annatto seeds I bought in Melbourne so hunted around for a cheese which needed some red colouring. Annatto usually comes in liquid form for cheese making so it was all experimental, smashing up the seeds and boiling in some water to extract the colour. Who knows if it will work! The recipe for Red Leicester was similar to the usual, adding starter, adding rennet, cutting the curd, warming the curd. Then it diverged more towards a cheddar style of cutting the curds into slices to drain and be flipped regularly for an hour or so. The curd is then milled and salted before pressing for a couple of short presses before a 24 hour 22 kg pressing.
It has been drying for a few days now and is starting to change colour. Once it is quite dry to the touch, I will vacuum seal it and put it in the maturing fridge/ cave.
Meanwhile in another pot, I thought I would try a northern Italian cheese from the Veneto area. Asiago and with pepper added Pepato. This is made with a starter more tolerant of high temperatures like Parmesan as the cooking of the curd took it to a much higher temperature than the Leicester. The pressing was also much lighter which I am not sure is such a good idea as I see a few cracks in the surface. This cheese had to sit in a heavy brine overnight and is now also drying. This cheese is meant to be washed with brine weekly for months but I think with those cracks, it would be safer to vacuum seal it and let it age out of the reach of mould!