This cheese is usually found in Italy and France. Tomme is made and buried in the seeds and skins of wine making and from these skins, a liquor is also made in the name of ‘Marc’, which explains where ‘Tomme au Marc’ comes from.
What You Need
In this recipe, we use 8 gallons of milk and with that you also need:
– MA 011-Mesophilic Culture 1/8 Tsp
– TA 011-Thermophilic Culture 1/16 tsp
– Single strength Calf Rennet 11 ml (~2.25 tsp)
What To Do
To begin, heat up the milk to 91F and add the first culture and ripen for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, add enough rennet so it sets within 12-18 minutes and cut the curd into a small size (roughly 1/4 in.).
Now stir the mixture for around 10 minutes and slowly increase the temperature to 98F over the course of 30 minutes.
You can now continue to stir the curd until the TA% rises to .12. This will ensure that the curd is sweet but acidity will begin to develop in the molds.
Make sure you prepare the molds with warm water or whey being poured into them before transferring the curds. This will ensure clarity of the whey which means there was very little fat lost during handling.
After a few minutes of filling the molds with the curds, you can flip them and place them back into the molds. This makes the surface come together fairly quickly.
Now add around 8lbs of weight for around 30 minutes. After those 30 minutes, flip and place the molds again, making sure the temperature stays at a range of 90-95F to help the culture do its job.
Add around 25lbs of weight for 4-6 hrs. After this period, the surface should have formed really well and the acid will be developing nicely to a pH of 5.6
You can now leave the cheese to develop mold overnight and the pH should have lowered to around 5.3 in the morning.
It is time to brine your cheese for around 12 hours. The choice of brine is yours and after it is completed, take your cheese to the aging room and leave it for a week or so to allow the surface to firm up a lot more.
After a week or two, the tommes are ready to be buried in the Marc and anointed with a delightful splash of merlot.
Seal the top off and put it to rest in a cool room at a temperature or around 50-60F for at least 2 months before you take it out.
Once this is done, the tomme will be bursting with skins and seeds embedded within it. Keep them on the cheese and allow the tomme to dry out for a few more days, making the surface quite soft at this stage.
All this work is definitely worth it, the complexity of this cheese is perfection. The flavor of the wine and skins being a key aspect of the flavor and texture profiles. Enjoy!