Skyr is thick and creamy, similar to yogurt. It is actually a fresh cheese, since rennet is added. It has been made in Iceland for centuries.
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Our Instant Pot skyr recipe makes it easy to make skyr at home. Instead of the two step process of activating the starter, or the old fashioned method of wrapping the pot up in towels, we went with the Instant Pot method. The Instant Pot has one setting for scalding the milk, then another one for culturing it, and they both worked perfectly.
There are a variety of different cultures for culturing dairy products. They can be grouped into two categories – mesophilic and thermophilic. It is important to know what category your starter culture is in, because they thrive at different temperatures.
Skyr is a mesophilic culture, which translates to “medium-loving”. This indicates that it thrives at medium temperatures (around 68-100 degrees F) and is destroyed at a higher temperature (around 113 degrees F). The Instant Pot Ultra has a yogurt setting that can be adjusted to low, where it will maintain a constant temperature of 91 degrees F. This works perfectly for making skyr.
INGREDIENTS FOR MAKING INSTANT POT SKYR RECIPE
We make homemade skyr so we can choose exactly what is in it.
We use Horizon nonfat milk, since it is traditionally made with nonfat milk and not whole milk. Horizon milk is high quality and organic, and we think it tastes better, and the company is working to fight climate change.
The culture is a real skyr starter culture from Cultures for Health, and the rennet that came with it. The starter culture comes in powdered form in tiny packets along with rennet tablets. It conveniently stores for months in the refrigerator.
That’s it, no sugar or additives, no preservatives or other things we can’t pronounce.
MAKING SKYR IN AN INSTANT POT
Because this is a cultured product, it is important that everything is clean. Start with milk that is not near its expiration date. Remove the sealing ring on the Instant Pot lid and thoroughly wash the inner pot, the lid and the ring with very hot water.
Scald the milk, by bringing the temperature on the milk to 181 degrees F. This will kill any unwanted bacteria, and also help produce a thicker yogurt. The Instant Pot Ultra has a yogurt setting that can be adjusted to high. The high setting will scald the milk long enough to kill unwanted bacteria and produce a thicker yogurt.
The milk must then be cooled to below 91 degrees F before adding the skyr starter culture and rennet. Setting the pot in a bowl of ice will cool it much faster.
After adding the starter and rennet, the Instant Pot is then set to the yogurt setting on low and this will keep the mixture at 91 degrees. After 24 hours the milk will separate from the whey, indicating that the skyr is ready to be strained.
Straining the skyr through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth will give you a product that is similar to cream cheese. The skyr is then whipped to make it light and airy, a cross between cream cheese and whipped cream.
It is possible to make successive batches of skyr from a few tablespoons of a previous batch, but we usually start with fresh starter culture to make sure the culture is strong and the milk is kept clean.
Helpful tip: Before starting to make a batch, figure out what time it will be ready, so it isn’t ready at an inconvenient time – and remember to add the time it will take to scald and cool the milk.
MAKING SKYR IN AN INSTANT POT FITS IN WITH OUR PLAN TO EAT BETTER
Also, making it in an Instant Pot is not just easier, it is a great way to use less energy. This helps us eat less meat, and also saves money.
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Photos by Tony Fitzgerald Photography
I’m a bit confused on quantities. If I make one gallon of milk, how many packages of culture will I need? Rennet?? I’m so glad that I found this recipe. I love Siggi’s skyr yogurt and they don’t sell it by me anymore.
Thanks for posting the question. Yes, it is a little confusing. But if you are making a cultured product the culture just keeps growing if you use more milk, so the volume of milk can vary. One package of the starter and rennet will work just fine for one quart or up to one gallon.