You’ve all pretty much figured out by now that I’m getting pretty well ensconced in the From Scratch Club. I have been enjoying the swaps and have been asked to be a regular contributor which is pretty freaking awesome.
So, when Chris posted this request for Homemade American Cheese on the FSC Facebook wall, I had to try to make my own American Cheese. I love American cheese.. even though I know it’s a processed product and not “real” cheese, it should be made from real cheese.. so .. whatevs. And I only eat it on egg sandwiches which doesn’t happen very often…
Although a link was included in Chris’s post, I decided to go right to the source: America’s Test Kitchen. This recipe insists that whole milk powder is needed. I’m here to tell you it works with ordinary non-fat milk powder. Would it be better with the whole milk powder? I have no idea.
But you know what does make cheese better?
That’s right.. I went there.
That is bacon from West Wind Acres, who we recently bought a meat share from. Just wanted to clarify why that wasn’t my home cured bacon. I can’t get my home cured stuff sliced that thin because I don’t have a meat slicer, unlike Mr. Dave who has the lovely Lurlissa.
I gathered all my ingredients and went to town. I buzzed that bacon in the food processor
The resulting bacon was a bit greasy so I zapped it in the microwave and worked a little more grease out of it.. patted it dry with a paper towel and I was ready to make my very own sliceable processed cheese.
I pretty much followed the directions because this was my first time out.
And this is what I got.
I immediately made a grilled cheese sandwich
I’m calling this FrankenCheese because really, I’m not making cheese.. I’m taking bits from here and there to get my own creation.. it’s Alive! ALIVE!
You wanna make this.. if you love velveeta or melty cheese.. you need this.. NEED IT.
- 5 slices of bacon
- 1 tablespoon water
- One pouch of Knox Gelatin (about two teaspoons)
- 12 ounces Colby cheese, shredded
- 1 tablespoon non-fat powdered milk
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
- Line a small 4in x 5 in tupperware container or aluminum loaf pan with plastic wrap.
- Roast the bacon in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until it's crisp. Pat with papertowels to remove grease. Allow to cool.
- Place the bacon in a food processor and buzz until it's in bits. Remove. If you find it's still pretty greasy, microwave for 30 seconds or so and place on paper towels to allow the grease to wick away.
- Put the water in a small bowl and sprinkle with the gelatin. Allow to bloom while you do the next bits.
- Shred the Colby cheese (the orange-ier the better..because .. orange cheese always tastes better)
- Put the colby cheese, powdered milk, salt, and cream of tartar and bacon bits in your food processor.
- Heat the milk in a microwave safe bowl until just boiling.
- Pour over the gelatin mixture and whisk slowly until the gelatin is melted (try not to create too many bubbles)
- Turn on your food processor and drizzle in the milk while it's running.
- The FrankenCheese will form into a goopy blob. This is okay
- Smash the FrankenCheese into the plastic lined container, smushing to remove as many air bubbles as possible.
- Pop in the fridge and leave it there for at least 4 hours. Overnight is better.