Fresh Cheese with Honey and Walnuts

, from Issue #20. August, 2015
Photography by Vanessa Wu.
Fresh Cheese with Honey and Walnuts

Serves: 4


1 litre full cream milk
½ cup cream
3 tablespoons caster sugar
finely grated zest of 1 orange
2 teaspoons renco*
large piece double thickness muslin

To finish
2 oranges, peeled with all white pith removed, sliced
ground cinnamon
runny honey
½ cup walnut pieces, toasted


Line a large sieve with the damp muslin. Place over a deep bowl.

Put the milk, cream, sugar and orange zest in a saucepan and place over a low heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to 50°C on a sugar thermometer or to the point where you can still put your finger in the milk without burning it. Remove from the heat. Add the renco and stir once just to combine. Leave for 10 minutes without stirring. The curds will start to separate out from the whey. If you keep stirring the milk, the curds will be tiny and rough and you want smooth, large curds.

Using a large spoon, ladle the curds into the muslin-lined sieve. Pull up the sides of the muslin and gather the edges together. Tie with kitchen string and leave to drain, in the sieve, for 1 hour. The longer the cheese drains, the firmer it will be.

To serve: Untie the muslin and gently turn the cheese out onto a plate. Cut into portions. Arrange the orange slices on serving plates and top with the cheese. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon and drizzle generously with honey. Scatter over the walnuts. 

Cooks Tip: Individual fresh cheeses can be made as shown. Use 4 pieces of muslin about 20 cm square and 4 sieves. Divide the curds evenly between each sieve, tie and drain as in the recipe.

* Renco is another name for rennet. It is available at supermarkets.

Menu: This dessert will complement Spanish Flatbreads with a Carrot, Radish and Tomato Salad.