Skyr is a delicious Icelandic treat, that theoretically goes back as far as Viking times. It's sort of a cross between cheese and yogurt, most of it with a .5% fat content.
It's very difficult to find commercially - there's a small place in Gimli, Manitoba that makes it in Canada but the shipping usually doubles the price of it.
The largest Icelandic skyr company - skyr.is - has recently started making it available in the US at Whole Food Markets. Unfortunately, Whole Foods can't make it available at their Toronto store - I've asked. Something about the Canadian Government being fussy about milk products.
Just recently back from Iceland, I have to have continued access to this delicious treat! So I've decided to try to make it myself at home.
Understand that it's also difficult to get english language information on how to make skyr at home, and that I have no concept of chemistry, and have never done anything even remotely like this before. :)
Basic recipe that I started with:
Bring 4 quarts milk to a boil, and cool to lukewarm.
Add 2 tbsp starter (skyr) to 1/2 cup of the lukewarm milk.
Stir back in to the rest of the milk.
Add 12 drops of rennet.
Store for 24 hours in a warm place.
Drain liquid through cheese cloth.
Remove cloth, put in bowl, chill.
Nothing about what kind of milk.
I tried 1% milk first. I heated it til it got bubbles. Bubbles = boiling, right? I've always been a sort of fly-by-seat-of-pants kind of cook. Measuring is for wimps.
Added the starter, and the rennet, and turned the heat off and ignored it for 24 hours.
It didn't turn out so well - gritty and dryish.
Read some more - bought skim milk this time. Paid attention to the thermometer this time - didn't judge by bubbles alone. Brought it to 90 degrees celsius, and then let it cool to 40 degrees. Added the skyr starter, and then the rennet. I used less rennet this time (only 9 drops) - other recipes suggested an inverse relationship between the amount of milk and rennet. More milk, less rennet.
I also had trouble finding rennet. I ended up with a vegetarian rennet from a health food store. I don't know enough about the chemistry to know if this matters but I do know that rennet in it's original form is certainly not vegetarian!
I made more effort to keep this second batch warm during it's waiting time, not ignoring it entirely.
The first batch, I squeeze dried. This second batch, I just found a way to hang it in it's cheesecloth and let it drip for a few hours.
Second batch - skyr! Soft, creamy, tasty!
Pictures? turned out awful. Either the flash overexposed it, or turning off the flash underexposed it, and I didn't like the "fixes" in the photoshop.