Our Gruyere Cheese article will guide you, step by step, how to make a great textured and delicious cheese with our Gruyere cheese recipe.
The best part?
You will have more confidence in you cheese making, less stress throughout the process, and you’ll have a simple, proven recipe for a great Gruyere cheese.
That’s not all…
We have the full history of the cheese, the taste, the nutrition, wine pairings, the best uses for Gruyere cheese and much, much more.
Where Is Gruyere From?
Gruyère originates from the Cantons of Vaud, Fribourg, Neuchâtel, Bern, and Jura, in Switzerland. It has been around since 1115. The cheese is named after a town found in the district of Gruyère, canton of Fribourg.
The medieval town is located a region in the upper valley of the Saane or Sarine river overlooking the Lake of Gruyère atop an 82-meter hill.
Traditionally made in wheels so that the cheese maker could roll the cheese back down the mountains to be sold.
Prior to attaining AOP status, there arose controversy over whether or not French cheeses produced using similar materials and methods could be labeled Gruyère.
AOP And AOC Certification
Gruyere cheese achieved its Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) status in 2001. The AOC designation has been in effect across European since December 2011. The AOC denomination changed to “Appellation d’Origine Protégée” (AOP).
Gruyere Cheese Taste
Gruyere is a type of Swiss hard yellow cheese that has small holes throughout. It that can be described as being slightly salty and sweet with a flavor that greatly varies with its age.
The taste of a young Gruyere cheese is creamy and nutty, which becomes increasingly assertive, complex, and earthy as it ages.
A fully aged Gruyere cheese should be about five months to twelve months. A fully matured Gruyere has small cracks, that impart a slightly grainy texture upon it.
The cheese has a hard and grainy rind that ranges in color from brown to dark golden. The Gruyere rind is edible and can best be enjoyed when melted down in a French soup or when grated on pasta.
Gruyere cheese ingredients make it a healthy choice that is not only tasty but packed with nutritional benefits.
A slice of Gruyere cheese contains 117 calories, of which 31% are fats, 69% proteins, and 0% carbohydrates. The cheese also contains vitamins A and C, Calcium and Iron.
Gruyere cheese is safe for consumption by pregnant women as it doesn’t cause any known adverse effects.
Gruyere Cheese Substitute
If you need a substitute for Gruyere you should try use Emmental, Beaufort, Jarlsberg, or Raclette cheeses.
Emmental is a cheese similar to Gruyere. Also, Raclette has a similar taste and texture and can be enjoyed in a similar manner.
Suggested wine pairings include light red wines such as Pinot Noir and Beaujolais go wonderfully with Gruyere cheese. A couple slices of smoky speck and a handful of well-preserved walnuts also go well with this Swiss cheese.
© Rolf Krahl / CC BY 4.0
How To Make Gruyere Cheese At Home
Gruyere Cheese Ingredients
- 10 liters or 3 gallons of whole cow’s milk.
- 1/3 a teaspoon of thermophilic culture.
- A pinch of propionic culture.
- One teaspoon of Rennet diluted in a 1/4 cup of water.
- Cheese salt for the brine.
Gruyere Cheese Recipe
- Warm the milk up to 32°C or 90 degrees Fahrenheit
- Add the bacterial cultures and stir thoroughly.
- Cover the milk and leave it to ripen for about 45 minutes.
- Add the diluted Rennet and leave it to set for an additional 45 minutes to 1 hour or until you have a clean break.
- Afterward, carefully cut the curd into equal 3cm cubes and leave the curds to rest for 10 minutes.
- Carefully stir the curds with a whisk to cut the curd once more.
- Your curd should result in pieces that are slightly larger than grains of rice.
- Slowly heat the curds until the temperature reaches 46°C or 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
- This should take between 30 to 45 minutes to attain the temperature. Be careful to slowly raise the temperature. A longer scalding period results in a drier cheese while a shorter period should give you a more moist cheese.
- Gently stir the curds regularly at about every 5 minutes during the scalding period.
- Once the optimal temperature is reached, leave the curds to settle for 10 minutes.
- Drain off the whey up to the level of the curds.
- Scoop up the curds to one side of your pot or container and place approximately 5kg or 10lbs of weight directly onto the curds. I used a large plate and 1 x barbell weight to do this pre-press.
- Leave them for 15 minutes then pour out all remaining whey.
- Immediately move the curds onto a cloth-lined mold while being careful and gentle so as not to break them.
- Press the curd at 10kgs or 25lbs for an hour. If you used different measurements work out your pressing pressure here.
- Remove, flip then redress. Press again at 15kg or 35lbs for an additional 2 hours.
- Remove, flip and redress then press again at 20kg or 50lbs for 8 hours. You can also leave them overnight.
- Remove and unwrap the cheese.
- Soak the cheese in saturated brine for 12 hours and make sure you turn over the cheese every 3 hours to ensure even coverage.
- Remove and pat the cheese dry.
- Air dry it at 10°C for 2 weeks or until you notice it is obviously dry on the surface.
- Rub salt on the cheese and afterwards transfer it to your cheese cave.
- Wash the cheese with brine about 3 to 4 times a week for the first 2 to 3 months to manage the growth of molds.
Photo: Myrabella / Wikimedia Commons
You should age your Gruyere in your cheese cave for any length of time between six months to three years. I age my Gruyere for 12-18 months.
Just like most types of cheese, storing Gruyere is quite simple; ensure the ventilation in your cheese cave is great and ensure the humidity levels are low.
Storing Gruyere Cheese
Place the cheese on a wooden tray and wrap it in clean parchment paper to preserve the delicate flavors of the cheese.
Gruyere is quite often eaten in slices or shredded.
If mold appears in a pack of sliced, shredded, or crumbled Gruyere cheese, dispose of the entire thing. To further extend the life of Gruyere, you may freeze it and expect it to last up to 6 months. In a normal refrigerator, Gruyere can last for up to 3 or 4 weeks.
Best Uses For Gruyere Cheese
The best uses for gruyere cheese would of course be in some tasty gourmet recipes. Gruyere cheese is among my most beloved Swiss cheeses.
The reason for this is simple, the delicate and sensuous tastes that cannot be compared to anything else. Gruyère cheese is perhaps one of the best cheeses for baking.
With its distinctive yet not overpowering taste, it adds a certain savoriness that doesn’t overshadow other ingredients. It is also a great melting cheese perfectly suited for fondues, alongside some Emmental. Well, below are some recipes you should most definitely try using Gruyere.
Of all cheese recipes known to man, Mac and Cheese has to be perhaps the most famous of all, followed by fondue. In my books, nothing beats a tasty bowl of hot gooey gruyere Mac and Cheese. The best part about mac cheese is that you don’t need to be the Chef De Cuisine to make this recipe.
This Martha Stewart Gruyere mac and cheese recipe is my go to pasta dish. My whole family absolutely loves it and it is so quick and easy to make.
The fact that there is Gruyere involved is great news for you, if you ever need to impress a couple of guests. You can make this Macaroni and Cheese your “pièce de résistance” and watch everyone’s face light up.
Life’s too short not to stuff tomatoes with savoury fillings. The white breadcrumbs, milk, garlic, herbs, onion, black pepper and eggs work wonderfully with Gruyere Cheese. This is one of those occasional treats everyone is always bugging me to make time to time. Can’t have too much of a good thing now, can we?
Photo: Tara Fisher
From the mention of ham you can already tell that this “bistro-ready” delight is a winner. This is the perfect snack for when you need to get everyone’s taste buds excited for more. You can also serve this Gruyere suggestion with onion rings, some curly fries, and a Budweiser to complete the whole “bar food” experience.
Photography Credit: Elise Bauer
Do you have any questions or comments about Gruyere Cheese? Join the discussion over at the Curd Nerd Forum. We would love to hear from you! We hope you enjoy our Gruyere cheese recipe as much as we do.