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Italian Easter Cheese — Mother Mildred Valiante’s Recipe

Equipment Needed

  • Plastic basket for cheese (a couple)
  • 6-8 Quart stainless steel pot approximately 4″ high Stainless steel flat mesh strainer
  • Food Thermometer
  • Cheese Cloth (triple line the basket and rinse the cheese cloth under hot water before using

Ingredients needed

  • 6 Junket Rennet Tablets crushed (Market Basket sells them)
  • 1 Gal. Whole Milk (less 1 cup if adding 1 cup Heavy Cream (the cheese is richer tasting)
  • 1 Cup ofHeavy Cream (You don’t have to use the cream, it’s my idea


Pour the milk and heavy cream into the large Pot and heat to approximately 110 degrees. Crush 6 Junket Rennet Tablets into a small cup of milk to melt the crushed tablets and stir it into the milk. Then, remove the pot from theheat so that the mixture will jell together. This will take a few hours or less. You Will see the curds separating from the whey.

Prior to this point, put the cheesecloth lined strainer into a Pyrex glass that holds the cheese basket without falling into the Pyrex glass.

When you see the whey separating in the pot from the curds, put the pot back on low heat and with the strainer, start to pull the curds toward you until almost all the curds have come together.

Then remove the pot off the heat and start removing the curds to the cheese basket and fill it with as much of the curds that you can. Then, tum the basket over into the palm of your hand (the cheese will come out) and nudge the cheese back into the basket. You will see the design of the basket. Take another basket and repeat the process. Refrigerate the baskets in a plastic container with a cover. Whey will continue to extract from the cheese; I leave it in the container to keep the cheese moist.


When you put the cheese into a plastic container you just made, the whey will continue to extract from the cheese and will become denser.


Prior to straining the curds into the baskets, you may want to add salt, pepper, herbs and other seasonings if you prefer. We have always eaten it with eggs on Easter Sunday morning without seasonings or with the appetizers served before the main meal.

Florence Lemanshi

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