Blue Stilton + Step by Step with pictures

A Collection of Cheese Recipes dedicated to the memory of our Cheese Guru, the late Rik VonTrense.

Blue Stilton + Step by Step with pictures

Postby Spuddy » Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:02 pm


Things that you need from the kitchen.

A two gallon bucket preferably with lid.
A piece of cotton sheeting 20x20 inches.
A colander.
A beer thermometer (Chemists for �2)
A large spoon to stir with or French balloon whisk.
A long knife with blade about 10� long.
An empty 2 lb fruit tin for a temporary mould or any round recepticle open at both ends. so you can turn your cheese when it is forming.

Things from Tesco�s.

One gallon of whole milk (full cream).
One carton of active buttermilk.
One small (100ml) bottle of rennet (check the date on the box)
A piece of blue cheese (about an ounce) like Stilton or Danish blue.
About an ounce of coarse sea salt.
Two small polystyrene packing bases from pizzas or similar.


I always keep a log as I go along so that I can always reproduce any cheese that I make and it is always consistent.

Use the sink full of hot water to keep your temperature at the correct
level so that when your milk is in the bucket it is surrounded by warm water and the temperature for Stilton is 88F��no more no less.

Put your cold milk in a sink full of warm water to bring it up to temperature.

Empty the milk in your clean bucket (sterilized)
Check the temperature is at 88F.

Give the buttermilk a good shake up and then open it and use only a quarter of the carton, tip this in the milk and stir vigorously to mix.

Crumble up your piece of blue cheese and add a small drop of milk to it and stir it into a smooth cream, then add a drop more milk and mix well, this is your blue culture. Add this to your bucket of milk and stir very well.

Put a tablespoon of cool water in a cup drop in half tsp of RENNET

Mix this well for several minutes. ADD THIS TO YOUR MILK and stir well.

Cover and leave for 90 minutes at 88F.

Check after this time for what they call �A clean break�
(this is a state of the curd where if you immerse your bent index finger under the curd surface and then pull it gently out. It should come out clean and the hole left fills with green whey.) That is the condition called a clean break and the curds are ready for cutting, if they are not ready then they will not cut cleanly and separate and you must leave the curd for a further 30 minutes to set properly.

Taking a long knife you must cut the curd right to the bottom of the bucket in straight lines across the surface of the curd. Then do it again at right angles to the first cut so that you have sticks a quarter inch square standing on end in the bucket.

Now take your knife at an angle and cut through those sticks, so that you end up with quarter inch square cubes of solid curd.

Very very gently slide your hand down the side of the bucket to the bottom and spread your hand and lift the curds gently upwards so that they turn over, any big ones just reduce them with your knife.

Leave the curds covered at the same temp (88F) for 30 mins.

After 30 mins the curds should have sunk below the whey so scoop the surplus whey off with a clean cup and just leave the whey just covering the curds and leave for a further 30 minutes.

You can put your hand in and lift the curds as before at any time during this hours �cooking time� .

After the second 30 minutes the curds are ready for straining . Lay your straining cloth in the colander and gently cup the curds into the
colander, allowing the whey to drain through.

Take up all four corners of the straining cloth and tie string around these to form a bundle. Hang this bundle over the bucket to drain for 30 minutes.

Taking the drained bundle and place it on the clean draining board and place a plate on top and on the plate place a weight of around ten pounds. Press this for two hours and the whey will continue to run out.

After two hours unwrap your curd, which will be like a flattened disc of soft cheese.
This must be broken up with your fingers into the clean bucket in small pieces the size of cherries, you have a heaped dessert spoon of sea salt to add as you crumble this curd into your bucket.

Take your fruit tin (Cheese mould) and place it on one of the small pizza bases on the draining board, fill your mould with the salted curds and press down holding the mould firmly to prevent it from jumping up. Make sure you have a fairly even surface.

Wrap the top and bottom cut outs from the tin in cling film (this is called a �follower�) and place on top of the curds. You now have to find a weight to place on this to press down on the curd block for several days.

In the first day the cheese must be turned frequently to keep it in balance for expelling the whey, this is where the other pizza base comes in, just take out the follower and place the pizza base over the top of the mould and invert it. The cheese will slide down to the bottom then place your follower on top of the curd again and replace the weight.

After three days your new cheese should hold it�s shape so it is now ready to mature.

Again place on a pizza base and cover the cheese with a plastic basin
to keep the air in and create a 95% humidity environment.
The cheese has to be turned daily and do not touch it with your bare fingers until the crust has well and truly formed.

The outer rind will go all colours during the next week or so but will settle for an orangey brown after three weeks or so.

On the fourth week take a sterilized knitting needle and pierce the cheese repeatedly to the centre only all around.

Do this again at six weeks, through the same hole if you can. This lets the air get inside the cheese for the blue veining, it now has it�s own immune system.

This cheese can be eaten after six weeks but will be stronger flavoured after 12 weeks and at 20 weeks is considered to be the King of all Blue cheeses.

It all may sound complicated but after making a few you will do it with your eyes shut it really is so simple to make fantastic cheeses, far far better than anything you could buy in the shop and a King Blue mature Stilton you are looking at about �10/�12 per pound of cheese.

Make �..Eat��..and Enjoy.
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Postby Spuddy » Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:32 pm




These are the things you add to the milk after decanting it into the make bucket.

Culture first either buttermilk or freeze dried DVI.

Then the calcium to improve the milk in water.

The culture for veining Candidum Roqueforti in water.

Coagulant vegeren in water.


This has set off already after 15 mins but requires 90 mins for ripeness.


Close up of curd to show how it coagulates but needs another hour before clean break and cutting.


This is a clean break I can't show with my finger as I can't operate the camera with one hand but this is where the thermometer was the hole fills with clean whey,


The curd cutting knife reaches the bottom of the pot.


The cut curds after being turned over.


The temperature of the curds must still be kept at 88F or 31C for the next hour,


Take out half the whey and leave for another 30 mins to finish cooking.


After curds have finished cooking ladle out the rest.


leave to drain until you can handle them into one collander.


Thesae curds after they had lost half of their whey were broken up and salted and then returned to the collander to be shaped and dispell the rest of the whey.

This is the third day and the curds are almost cleared of the whey we have to get rid of.




we are almost finished now as the next stage is striking the mould and allowing the crust to form..................


This is the cheese after three days and the crust is starting to colour.



Then the crust will change colour all over and the cheese can now be needled to allow the air inside the cheese to begin the veining.



Now the cheese must be transferred into it maturing "cave" that is it's home for the next six weeks where it will be kept covered and turned every day. You can handle the crust when it has formed but keep this to a minimum and try to invert the cheese by holding the cheesemats in the palm of your hand.



This is the first cheese which is now two weeks old and the crust is formed well and has dried fit for handling.

I keep the finished cheeses on a cheesecloth and a cheese mat in the maturing cave so that I can adjust the humidity if it needs it. I don't want the cheese drying out and cracking neither do I want it to get wet and slimy on the outside.

I gather the four corners of the cheesecloth to lift it out of the container and this makes handling easier and then I can turn the cheese to keep it evenly balanced otherwise if I didn't turn it, it would become soggy at the bottom as any liquid still in the curds would settle at the bottom of the cheese.

I can replace the lids or leave them off as I see fit.

This cheese is the first one and is two weeks old


This cheese is the new one and is now four days old.


This is the lid that goes on if necessary.


Label the container with the cheese and it's history.

Rik vonTrense
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