Firm but crumbly, somewhat meltable vegan monterey jack made from yogurt.
Yield: about a pound
Time: 15 minutes, plus time to culture
- blender or large bowl and whisk
- rubber spatula
- glass container with lid
- small bowl
- medium saucepan
- wooden spoon
- 1 c cashew yogurt or your favorite non-dairy yogurt
- ½ – ¾ c water, divided*
- ½ c grapeseed, soy, or mild olive oil
- 1½ t salt
- 2 T carrageenan powder or agar powder*
- 3 T tapioca flour
Blend or whisk the yogurt with ¼ c water, oil, and salt, until smooth.
Pour into container, cover, and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 24 hours. Longer culturing = sharper cheese.
At this point, the process is a little different depending on which thickener you use.
- Transfer cultured yogurt into the saucepan over medium heat and stir in remaining ¼ c water.
- Whisk in the carageenan and tapioca and continue cooking and whisking until smooth and glossy, 5-10 minutes.
- Place the reamining ½ c water in the saucepan over medium-low heat and slowly add the agar, whisking constantly until you have a thick paste, about 2 minutes. If it seems very dry, add a tiny bit more more water, 1 t at a time.
- Slowly pour in the cultured yogurt, whisking constantly. When the mixture is hot and smooth, trade the whisk for the wooden spoon.
- Gradually add the tapioca, stirring constantly. If the mixture starts to bubble, reduce the heat. You want it to be very hot without actually boiling.
- Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture thickens and starts to look glossy, 5-10 minutes.
Use immediately as a sauce or spread into the container and let cool, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours. It will last around 6 weeks in the refrigerator as long as it’s properly sealed.
* For a meltable cheese, use carageenan and ½ c water. If melty** but not meltable is ok, you can use agar and ¾ c water.
** Melty will soften but not melt in the oven. However, it melts beautifully in liquid. To make a pourable cheese sauce, combine 2-3 parts monterey jack with 1 part cashew milk over medium-low heat and whisk until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Use immediately.
Adapted from the recipe for “Meltable monterey jack” in Artisan Vegan Cheese – read my review.
More: Vegan cheese recipes