MALTESE PEPPER CHEESE (GBEJNIET) CURED

4L (135 fl oz) of un-homogenised milk makes approximately: 10 x 100g Gbejniet

Maltese Pepper Cheese, Gbejniet, is loved by the Maltese. This special cheese is in a class of its own, nothing quite compares. If you’ve had this cheese before, one bite will transport you to take you Malta.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4L (135 fl oz) of un-homogenised milk
  • pinch of T starter
  • 1ml (.034 fl oz) liquid vegetarian rennet
  • 20ml (.68 fl oz) of cool boiled water
  • 60g (2.11 oz) of non-iodised salt
  • 60g (2.11 oz) cracked black pepper
  • Enough white vinegar and sunflower oil to cover cheese

MALTESE PEPPER CHEESE – CURED

Maltese Pepper Cheese, Gbejniet, is loved by the Maltese. This special cheese is in a class of its own, nothing quite compares. If you’ve had this cheese before, one bite will transport you to take you Malta.

Traditionally made with sheep and sometimes goats milk and now often made with cows milk. It comes in a few forms, fresh, dried and cured I have chosen to share the cured recipe as it will store in the fridge for months.

METHOD

Day 1

Pour the milk into a large saucepan and heat milk to 38°C (100°F). Remove from heat. Add one pinch of type T starter to the milk. Then add 1ml (.034 fl oz) of liquid vegetarian rennet diluted 20ml (.68 fl oz) of cooled boiled water. Pour diluted rennet over the surface of the milk and stir thoroughly.

Keep the saucepan of milk at 38°C (100°F). by placing the lid on the saucepan and wrapping in a clean towel. Leave for milk to set into a curd. This will take 90 minutes.

To check the curd, place the blade of a knife into the curd and lift at a 45 degree angle, looking for a clean break. If the curd parts well it is ready to cut. Cut the curd with a curd-cutting knife into 1.5-2cm (3/4 to an 1 inch) cubes and rest for 90 minutes.

Using a curd turning spoon, lift the curd out of the saucepan and place the curds equally into 10 small round hoops. Place each of the hoops on a draining rack. Cover each with cheesecloth and invert 5 to 6 times over a 3 to 4 hour period. Be sure to remove any whey from the draining rack container when inverting. Leave the curd in the hoops on the kitchen bench overnight to drain.

Day 2

Remove the curd from the hoops and allow to air dry on the kitchen bench for 24 to 48 hours.

After a day of drying, while the curd is still moist add the fresh cracked black pepper and salt by lightly pressed it onto the cheese. The pepper and salt needs to be quite a thick covering as most of it will wash away when soaked in vinegar.

Day 4

The Gbejniet have dried, it is time for a 24-hour white vinegar bath simply cover the curds with white vinegar and place in the fridge for 24 hours. Your Gbejniet is ready to eat or you can place them in an air-tight sterilized jar with black pepper, equal parts of white vinegar and oil, totally submerge the Gbejniet and store in the refrigerator, use as required.

You Maltese Pepper Cheese (Gbejniet) is ready to eat. Enjoy!


Wanting to make MALTESE PEPPER CHEESE (GBEJNIET) at home? You can order your cheese making cultures via our online store.

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