Finland: Squeaky Cheese
This recipe is for Finnish Squeaky Cheese. I had this several times when I was living in Finland. The common Finnish custom is to eat this on a piece of rye cracker or rye bread, topped with Cloudberry jam. I must say that the texture of the Finnish Squeaky Cheese is an acquired taste, and the sweeter the jam is that you put on top it, the more you may enjoy it! It does have an interesting taste. In Finland they sell Squeaky Cheese pre-packaged in the store, it usually comes in a packet with some water or liquid in it so it maintains its moisture level.
2.5 gallons raw milk or pasteurized milk
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablet of Hanson’s Rennet (you may have to do some searching around for this at a specialty store, although I’ve heard it is available at some drug stores)
In a double boiler, set between 85-90 degrees, heat up milk.
Crush the rennet tablet and dissolve it into 1 tablespoon of cool water. Once dissolved, set aside.
In a small bowl, mix the salt, cornstarch, and sugar. Then mix the dry ingredients with a small amount of the warmed milk.
Add this mixture to the rest of the milk.
Mix the dissolved rennet tablet with the milk as well.
Set the boiler aside, removing from heat.
Allow mixture to gel. It normally takes around 35-45 minutes to achieve optimal gelification into a solid.
Test with a wooden spoon. Once completely gelled, a spoon inserted should come out clean.
After jelled, break the curds into 1 inch chunks. Let the chunks set for 10 minutes until they separate from the curds.
Prepare a 9 inch cake pan with a wet cloth draped over it. Pour jelled mixture onto cloth; gather all corners and squeeze out as much whey as possible. Remove the cloth and firmly press mass into pan.
Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes.
Turn over halfway through until both sides get golden brown.
Cool on rack and let dry for around 2 hours.
Refrigerate overnight until chilled.
Serve with rye bread and Cloudberry jam.
The unique taste and texture of Finnish Squeaky Cheese is something everyone should try at least once!