Junket!

If you have a dairy animal, you know what it’s like to be overwhelmed by milk. Some days it’s hard to stay on top of the supply. Especially, if changing it into another product, like cheese, is going to take much time. As I was looking at all the jars of goat milk in the fridge, I wondered what else I could use it for. Something simple. Something I hadn’t tried, yet. Then it hit me…junket.
This old-fashioned dessert made from curdled milk used to be recommended for sick children because of its sweet taste and digestibility.  And it’s not just for sick kids. My Danish grandma used to make this for dessert sometimes. It is fast, easy, inexpensive & has a delightful, fresh taste.
I remember standing next to my grandma at the stove and watching her drop the Junket tablets into the warm milk. Nothing much happened that you could see, but a change was already taking place. The milk was becoming jellified. How could I do now, what Grandma did so long ago?
I didn’t have Junket tablets. A quick search of the Internet revealed that they were nothing more than rennet. Well, not much more. The actual ingredients are:
salt, calcium, lactate, corn starch, rennet, tricalcium, phosphate, calcium stearate (food grade). I figured I could do without the the other seven and just use my  double-acting non GMO vegetable liquid rennet.
I searched in vain for any instructions on how to use liquid rennet to make this dessert. Time for a little experimenting. Any flops would be fed to the chickens and yes, there were flops. My first attempt set up really fast & the curds separated from the whey. It wasn’t long, however, before the right balance of rennet to milk was discovered. Meanwhile, the hens were having a junky junket treat. 
Speaking of treat… My grandma used to put a “surprise” in the bottom of each small bowl of junket. The first time she told me about this treat at the bottom, I thought it would be a small toy. Like the ones that came in Cracker Jacks and ready-to-eat cereal. It turned out to be brown sugar.
Disappointing but it sure did taste good. Other things you could add are jelly, berries or caramel sauce. But, you don’t need to dress it up; it’s nice just plain.
The good news for raw milk lovers is that you don’t heat the milk enough to destroy the goodness.
Ingredients
  • 1 quart milk
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • double acting, vegetable rennet
  • nutmeg
Directions
Stir 6 drops of rennet in 1/4 cup water. Heat one quart milk, 2 Tbs sugar & 2 tsp vanilla to 98.6 degrees. Watch it! This takes no time at all. Stir in 4 Tbs of the rennet water mixture. Pour into custard cups & let set at room temp for 10 minutes. It should be jiggly. Sprinkle the top with nutmeg & refrigerate.
If you find some tasty additions to this over-looked dessert, come back and post them here or link to what you’ve come up with.
Maybe you have fond memories of junket or maybe you like retro stuff. There are junket stories shared here at a place appropriately named “Junket Memories”
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