Tvorog, Russian Fromage Blanc

Posted by Florian in Cheese, Desserts, Recipes, Russian Food, tagged with ,

I like preparing food from scratch. I have been making my own stock, cured meats, cheese, bread, jam, soda, wine, and liquor to name a few things. Some of the recipes take months or even years before the final product can be tasted, but we’ll start with something faster (36 hours or so).

Tvorog is the Russian equivalent of fromage blanc, an acid-set cheese traditionally produced without the addition of rennet. It has a lower fat content than cream cheese, but it can still be used to make cheesecakes (more on this very soon). You can also enjoy it much like a yogurt, mixed with sugar, honey, or jam.

Tvorog, Russian Fromage Blanc

There are a couple of parameters you can play with to adjust the texture (and nutritional value) of the final product:

  • How much heavy cream you use: the more cream you use… the creamier the result! Yet tvorog is also excellent with no cream at all, and can even be made with low-fat milk.
  • How long you let the curds drain: if you drain the curds longer, you’ll get a richer product but with a drier mouthfeel. This plays a major part in what makes tvorog tvorog. Without draining, tvorog would just be similar to liquid yogurt.

I get the starter culture from New England Cheesemaking, a site founded by Ricki Carroll, author of the invaluable Home Cheese Making.

Tvorog, Russian Fromage Blanc

Tvorog
Yields 22-24 oz

2 qt whole milk
2 fl. oz heavy cream
1 packet direct-set buttermilk starter

  • Heat the milk and cream to 88 F. Add the starter and mix thoroughly. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 24 hours.
  • Ladle the curds into a sieve lined with a clean kitchen towel and placed over a pot. Cover with plastic wrap, and let drain in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. During that period, discard the whey in the pot and gently stir the tvorog a couple times.
  • Transfer the tvorog to plastic containers and refrigerate.

Tvorog, Russian Fromage Blanc