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Homemade Farmer’s Cheese Recipe (Tvorog) You Can Use in so Many Dishes

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Get ready to savor the crumbly texture and delightfully mild and slightly tangy flavor of one of the Balkans’ and Eastern Europe’s most beloved cheeses with our farmer’s cheese recipe, also known as tvorog, and enjoy it in so many different ways.

Homemade Farmer's Cheese Recipe (Tvorog) - crumbled, in a large bowl.

Farmer’s Cheese Recipe

Tvorog is hugely popular across the Balkans, Central, and Eastern Europe, and its versatility means it is used in a huge array of both sweet and savory differences.

With our recipe, you’ll be making this crumbly, mild, and wholesome cheese in no time at all. From there, the world really is your oyster when it comes to dishes you can fill it, stuff it, and roll it with!

Crumbled Homemade Farmer's Cheese Recipe (Tvorog).

What Is Farmer’s Cheese?

A sour milk cheese, farmer’s cheese is a simple cheese made from the curds of heated milk that has soured. Often compared to cottage cheese, among others, tvorog is in fact firmer, due to the lower moisture content, and a little more acidic.

Its simplicity and mild flavor help make it an incredibly versatile cheese, that is used in so many different dishes across Europe, from savory pies to sweet pastries, salads to soups.

Farmer’s cheese is a staple in the likes of Russian cuisine, many Balkans cuisines such as Serbian cuisine and Bulgarian cuisine, and other Eastern European cuisines, such as Romanian cuisine and Moldovan cuisine.

Ingredients

To make your very own farmer’s cheese, start by assembling the following ingredients:

Homemade Farmer's Cheese Recipe (Tvorog) ingredients.
  • Milk – 2.2 liters (9 and 1/2 cups)
  • Eggs – 4 eggs
  • Plain Greek Yogurt (Full-Fat) – 500 ml (2 cups)
  • Sour Cream – 150 ml (1/2 cup and 2 tbsp)
  • Salt – 1 tbsp

Roughly, these ingredients should produce about 800 grams of farmer cheese for you to use, consume, and enjoy.

Instructions (Step-by-Step):

Step 1 – In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sour cream, yogurt, and salt together, using a whisk.

Homemade Farmer's Cheese Recipe step-by-step (yogurt, eggs, salt, and sour cream in a bowl).

Beat them until your mixture becomes smooth and creamy, as shown below.

Homemade Farmer's Cheese Recipe step-by-step (mixed yogurt, eggs, salt, and sour cream in a bowl).

Step 2 – Set your milk in a pot with a heavy bottom over medium heat until it starts to boil (about 10-13 minutes). Stir from time to time with a wooden spoon to make sure the milk doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Tip: Rinse the bottom of the pot with water before adding the milk so that the milk doesn’t stick to it.

Homemade Farmer's Cheese Recipe step-by-step (boiling milk in a pot).

Step 3 – Once the milk is boiling and foamy, turn the heat down to low, and slowly pour in the eggs-sour-cream-yogurt-salt mixture, while beating with a wooden spoon as you pour. Keep gently stirring with a wooden spoon on low heat for about 7 minutes while bringing in any cheese curds that form towards the center.

Homemade Farmer's Cheese Recipe step-by-step (adding the mixture to the milk).

Step 4 – Next, leave the pot on low heat for about 10 minutes (no need to stir at this point). Don’t boil it, just maintain the temperature at the boiling level or just below.

Homemade Farmer's Cheese Recipe step-by-step (all ingredients in the pot).

Step 5 – Once your 10 minutes are up, turn the heat off, put the lid on, and leave the cheese for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, it should have curdled and look similar to ours below.

Homemade Farmer's Cheese Recipe step-by-step (cheese curds in the pot).

Step 6 – Line a strainer with a cheesecloth. Then, pick up all the cheese curds from your pot and put them all in the strainer. Once you’re down to the tiny curds that you can’t spoon out, as long as your strainer is deep enough, pour in the remaining liquid with the curds in.

Homemade Farmer's Cheese Recipe step-by-step (transferring the cheese curds to the cheesecloth-covered strainer).

Step 7 – Leave the curds to strain for about 45-60min, folding over the cheesecloth to cover the curds, as shown below.

Homemade Farmer's Cheese Recipe step-by-step (cheese curds in the cheesecloth covered strainer).
Homemade Farmer's Cheese Recipe step-by-step (covered cheese curds in the strainer).

After an hour, your curds should be strained, and your farmer’s cheese ready to try. Remove the cheese from the strainer and place it on a plate or in a bowl.

Homemade Farmer's Cheese Recipe step-by-step (finished cheese after getting out of the strainer and before cutting or crumbling it).

Farmer’s cheese should have a firm texture, firmer than that of, say, cottage cheese, yet still soft enough to be able to easily cut through, as shown below.

Homemade Farmer's Cheese Recipe step-by-step (cheese cut in half).

However, for that iconic crumbly texture, get in there with a fork and start breaking the cheese up!

Homemade Farmer's Cheese (crumbled, in a large bowl).

Wonderfully balanced, tvorog gives you a little of everything. It’s crumbly yet firm, mild yet tangy, light yet wholesome, and compact yet spreadable.

Growing up in Moldova, we ate this cheese in so many pies, fillings, salads, or just enjoyed it on top of a slice of warm bread.

Cheesemaking is something of a fading art in today’s society, with so many global cheeses readily available in the supermarket to buy.

Making cheese is in fact a very fun and rewarding pastime, and even something the whole family can do together. We sincerely hope you get a lot of joy not only from the end product but also from the process of making this beloved cheese.

Homemade Farmer's Cheese (crumbled, in a large bowl).

Farmer’s Cheese Recipe Card

Farmer's Cheese

Farmer's Cheese
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • Milk – 2.2 liters (9 and 1/2 cups)
  • Eggs – 4 eggs
  • Plain Greek Yogurt (Full-Fat) – 500 ml (2 cups)
  • Sour Cream – 150 ml (1/2 cup and 2 tbsp)
  • Salt – 1 tbsp

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl, using a whisk, beat the eggs, sour cream, yogurt, and salt together until your mixture becomes smooth and creamy.
  2. Place a pot with a heavy/thick bottom on the stove over medium heat, and add the milk, stirring from time to time with a wooden spoon, until it starts to boil (about 10-13 minutes). Tip: Rinse the bottom of the pot with water before adding the milk so that the milk doesn’t stick to the bottom.
  3. Once the milk is boiling and foamy, turn the heat down to low, and slowly pour in the eggs-sour-cream-yogurt-salt mixture, while beating with a wooden spoon as you pour. Keep gently stirring with a wooden spoon on low heat for about 7 minutes while bringing in any cheese curds that form towards the center.
  4. Next, leave the pot on low heat for about 10 minutes (no need to stir at this point). Don’t boil it, just maintain the temperature at the boiling level or just below.
  5. Once your 10 minutes are up, turn the heat off, put the lid on, and leave the cheese for another 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, it should have curdled and look similar to ours below.
  6. Line a strainer with a cheesecloth. Then, pick up all the cheese curds from your pot and put them all in the strainer.
  7. Leave the curds to strain for about 45-60min, folding over the cheesecloth to cover the curds.
  8. After roughly an hour, the cheese curds should be strained, and your farmer’s cheese ready to try. Remove the cheese from the strainer and place it on a plate or in a bowl.
  9. Farmer’s cheese should have a firm texture, firmer than that of, say, cottage cheese, yet still soft enough to be able to easily cut through, as shown below.
  10. However, for that iconic crumbly texture, get in there with a fork and start breaking the cheese up!

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Contributor: Petru is a retired engineer and passionate foodie, who has been making cheese from his humble home kitchen since childhood.

Contributor: Efimia is a retired teacher and savvy home cook, hugely knowledgable about Eastern European cuisine. She has been feeding friends and family from her home kitchen for over four decades and counting.

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