Recipe

How to make rosemary haloumi

The best haloumi you will taste without travelling to Cyprus.

  • 2 hrs cooking
  • Makes 6 slices
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Ingredients

Equipment
  • 1 cooking thermometer
  • 1 small jug
  • 1 metal spoon plus a mesh or slotted spoon
  • 1 small syringe (see tips)
  • 30 cm piece muslin
  • 9½ cm (3¼-cup) square cake pan
rosemary haloumi
  • 4 litres (16 cups) organic pasteurised, unhomogenised milk
  • 0.8 ml liquid vegetarian rennet
  • 3 teaspoons boiled water, cooled
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 40 grams sea salt flakes
  • 1.5 litres (6 cups) cold water, extra

Method

  • 1
    Place milk in a large saucepan fitted with the cooking thermometer over low heat; slowly heat the milk to 38°C. Meanwhile, combine rennet and the boiled, cooled water in a sterilised jug. When the milk reaches 38°C, remove the thermometer and turn off the heat. Stir in the rennet mixture with a sterilised metal spoon for 2 minutes or until well combined.
  • 2
    Cover pan with a lid; stand for 1 hour or until the milk has coagulated and curds form. During this time, keep the temperature at 38°C; to do this, turn the heat on to medium for 30 seconds every 15 minutes.
  • 3
    When the curds have set, use a large sterilised sharp knife to cut a cross-hatch pattern into the curds to create 3cm pieces. Maintaining the temperature at 38°C, stand for 5 minutes, then stir the curds every 5 minutes for 30 minutes to release the whey.
  • 4
    Line a colander with muslin, leaving plenty of excess cloth overhanging the sides; place over a bowl. Using a sterilised mesh spoon; spoon curds into colander, reserving the whey. Stir in rosemary. Cover top with overhanging muslin; weigh down with a heavy weight for 2 hours at room temperature.
  • 5
    Transfer haloumi in muslin to a 9½ cm (3¼-cup) square cake pan, pressing down firmly to fit. Weigh down with a heavy weight (a square oil bottle works well); refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • 6
    Make a brine solution by combining salt with the extra water in a large container with a lid.
  • 7
    Heat the reserved whey to 85°C. Remove haloumi from pan, discard muslin; cut haloumi into 6 pieces. Working in batches, cook haloumi in the whey for 10 minutes or until it floats to the surface; remove, place in the brine.

Notes

Keeps 1 month.To measure the rennet you'll need a small (1ml or 5ml) syringe available from pharmacies. You can also use the syringe to measure the boiled water. You can pan-fry haloumi immediately or keep it refrigerated in the brine for up to a month. The longer you keep the haloumi, the firmer the texture becomes and the salter it will be. Pat the haloumi dry before pan-frying.

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