Malcolm Bedell's Homemade American Cheese
• 1 tablespoon water
• 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
• 12 ounces Colby Jack cheese, finely shredded
• 1 tablespoon nonfat milk powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
• 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
• Line a small 4×5 loaf pan (disposable pans work fine) with plastic wrap, letting the excess hang over the sides.
• In a small bowl, combine water and gelatin and stir. Let sit for five minutes.
• Combine cheese, milk powder, salt, and cream of tartar in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse a few times to combine.
• Meanwhile, heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. When milk begins to simmer, remove from heat and transfer hot milk to a measuring cup to make pouring easier.
• With the food processor running, slowly add hot milk through the feed tube at the top of the bowl. Add prepared, thickened gelatin mixture.
• Stop food processor occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl, and continue whirring until the mixture becomes perfectly smooth (about 1-2 minutes).
• Working quickly, transfer mixture to prepared mold, pressing mixture down into the pan with a rubber spatula to remove any large air bubbles. Smooth surface of cheese, and cover with the overlapping plastic wrap.
• Chill in the refrigerator for at least three hours, or overnight. Slice as needed and use as you would individually-wrapped processed American cheese.
Adapted from a recipe by America's Test Kitchen
Malcolm and Jillian Bedell document their exploration of Maine's food scene on their blog "From Away." The blog was chosen as an Editor's Choice for Down East Magazine's "Best of Maine" issue in 2013.
For more information on "From Away" click here: FROM AWAY