Now – don’t give up before you start. I promise this is easier than it looks. There are several steps you can skip, depending on it’s intended purpose. Also – it says to use a blender, but a food processor will work… especially if you don’t have a super strong blender. I use this on pizza, in pastas, on bread, etc. Really, anywhere you might use cheese, you can use this. Really. Try it just once.
Almond Cheese (like a goat or feta cheese):
1 cup whole, raw almonds
¼ cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 ¼ tsp. salt
½ c. cold water
- Place the almonds in a medium bowl and cover with 3 inches of cold water. Let soak 24 hours. Drain soaking liquid, rinse almonds under cold running water, and drain again.
- This step you can skip if you want –it really just affects the color more than anything. But, the recipe calls for skinless almonds. After soaking, you can very easily just squeeze the almonds right out of their skin. But, be careful – they like to pop out and fly across the room. J
- Puree the almonds, lemon juice, garlic, salt and ½ c. cold water in a good blender or food processor for about 6 minutes – or until very smooth and creamy.
– You can stop here – just throw it in the fridge and call it good – but the recipe calls for the following:
- Place a large strainer over a bowl and line with triple layer cheese cloth ( you can buy cheese cloth at Harvest Health). Spoon the almond mixture into the cheesecloth. Bring corners and sides of cloth together and twist around cheese, forming into an orange-sized ball. Secure with a rubber band or kitchen twine and chill 12 hours, or overnight. Discard excess liquid.
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap cheese (it will be soft) and transfer from cheesecloth to prepared baking sheet. Flatten to form 6 inch circle about ¾ inches thick. Bake 40 min. or until top is slightly firm. Cool, then chill.
- If you want it in herb oil, combine ¼ c. thyme and rosemary in a small saucepan. Warm oil over med-low heat for 2 minutes or until very hot, but not simmering. Cool to room temp. Drizzle herb oil over cheese just before serving.