Iwona’s brother, Lucas, showed me how to make farmers’ cheese. It’s difficult to find in Cincinnati, and I wasn’t really familiar with it since my baba always used cheddar cheese in her pierogi filling. It’s really simple to make, and takes less than thirty minutes to have fresh cheese at your fingertips. Farmers’ cheese can stand alone as the pierogi filling, both savory and sweet. Add caramelized onion to the savory cheese filling for an even more decadent treat. Farmers’ cheese can also be added to halushki.
Pour whole milk and buttermilk into stock pot and heat milk mixture to 140°F. Hold temperature and pour in vinegar or lemon juice. Stir and allow the curds and whey to separate. This will take several minutes. If all curds have not separated after this time, add more vinegar or lemon juice until the whey runs clear beneath the curds.
Line a colander with cheesecloth and scoop curds into the lined colander. Once all curds are in the colander, tie cheesecloth into a knot and hang cheese at least 3 hours or overnight, depending on dryness desired.
1 gallon whole milk
1⁄4 gallon buttermilk
1 cup white vinegar or lemon juice