Ever wondered exactly what goes into that deliciously creamy block of Cathedral City
in your fridge? We start with a traditional recipe and a whole lot of milk. To find out
what we do then, read on…
Step 1: Begin
Pour the pasteurised whole milk into the cheese pan, heat to 32°C.
Step 2: Starter
Pour in starter (the active ingredient that causes the milk to ripen) and allow to stand at
32°C for 50 minutes. Stir.
Step 3: Rennet
Add rennet - this causes the milk to coagulate (solidify) and is the start of the cheese
making process. Stir for 5 minutes. Allow to stand for 50 minutes.
Step 4: Cutting
Test the firmness by laying the back of your hand on the surface of the curd near the side
of the vat and pull gently: if it comes away from the side of a vat, it’s ready.
Alternatively, put your thumb onto the curd. If it tears and reveals yellowish whey
appears, it’s also ready! Cut curd into small ¼ inch cubes.
Step 5: Stir
Increase the temp of the vat to 40°C for one hour and continue to stir. (Not too
hot though or you’ll ruin it.)
Step 6: Pitch & drain
Stop stirring and push the curd up into a pile about a third of the way inside the cheese
pan. Pull the plug out, allowing the whey to drain away slowly.
Step 7: Cheddaring
Cheddaring is the unique step in making cheddar. Cut the curd up into 9in blocks and turn
them over (flip them carefully). Wait for 10 minutes or so. Then turn the curd blocks
again, this time piling them two high. Repeat. Wait another 10 minutes or so, then turn
them over again but this time pile them four high. Finally, after another 10-15mins,
stack them into one pile and leave for 15 minutes. The whole step should take about an
hour, at the end of which the texture of the curd should roughly resemble a chicken breast.
Step 8: Milling
Tip the curd into chip mill. When all the curd has been milled, lay the pieces out evenly
and add salt. Allow to stand for 15 minutes. Pop the chipped curd into a press (using
cheese cloths) and squeeze. Do this for an hour, then take it out, pull up the cloths
and squeeze it all again for another 16 hours.
Step 9: The waiting game
Take it out of the press, remove the cloths and vacuum pack the cheese. Put it in a cold
store at 8-10°C for 12 months.
If you think this is rather a lot of effort, then there is an alternative. Let us do the
hard work and then pop down to your nearest store and buy your favourite Cathedral City -
in a nice and handy re-closable pack.
You can even have Cathedral City delivered to your door by your local
milkman. And what could be easier than that?