Following a magnificent seter feast filled with Sonja’s homemade products of cheese, cream, jams and cured meat, Sonja shared her recipe for surost.
Surost is a farmhouse cheese made from fresh cow’s milk which has been left to sit overnight in a warm spot to allow for curdling. The milk takes on a slightly sour taste, hence the name ‘sur’ ost. When it is ready, Sonja takes some of the sour milk from the container into a large pot and places the pot into a water bath on the stove. Within a short time, the curds separate from the whey and are placed in a colander where the whey continues to strain out.
This process is very simple and very effective. The cheese is similar to cottage cheese, yet with a tad more tanginess that comes from the milk being sour. I debated whether to provide an alternative recipe using pasteurised milk, but this simply would not be the same since pasteurised milk can not be left to sour. True surost must be made out of soured milk. You can, however, make a simple farm cheese with pasteurised milk by adding an acid to it, such as vinegar, while you heat it directly in a pot over the stove. A good recipe for this can be found from the Nourished Kitchen.
- 4-8 litres (∼1-2 gallons) fresh, raw cow’s milk
Sonja starts with a 20 litre or 5 gallon milk container full of raw cow’s milk, however, you can start with much less, around 4 litres or 1 gallon of milk. Place the milk container in a warm spot and let it sit overnight, without stirring. When the milk has curdled, place all of it into a large pot.
Over medium-low heat, heat an even larger pot (one that is big enough for the pot with the milk to fit in) filled approximately 3/4 of the way with water. The water should have a slow simmer. Place the pot with the milk inside the water bath. Be careful as some of the hot water may spill over, but ideally, you want the water to be as close to the top of the pot as possible.
With a slotted spoon, carefully fold the curds over once and awhile. The process should take around 15-30 minutes. When the curds have completely separated, remove them with the slotted spoon into a colander that is placed inside a large bowl. Remove any whey (liquid) which has strained into the bowl and let the curds stand for about an hour until all the whey has run out.
Enjoy the surost on top of bread, with jams or make Ystingsoll, a dish which combines sour cream, prim, whole milk and surost.
Read more about Sonja, her family Seter (Mountain Farm) and her homemade products here.
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