Homemade Cream Cheese has better flavor than store bought and doesn’t have any of the thickening additives in it. Fairly easy to make and worth the effort.
I have been learning to make many of the things that I buy in the grocery store. I like having chemical free food.
Homemade cream cheese is different than store bought in a couple different ways. First the flavor is a little more tangy than the store bought. It is still delicious.
Secondly, the homemade cream cheese is softer than store bought. The manufacturers of cream cheese put something in it to make it thicker. This something is what I’m trying to avoid because it is not natural.
How is cream cheese made?
Homemade Cream Cheese is made mostly of dairy but uses rennet as its enzyme to coagulate the dairy. The coagulated dairy creates curds. Very little rennet is used because cream cheese doesn’t need very large curds.
There are different types of rennet. You can get it in liquid form or in a tablet. There is also vegetarian rennet. But since this homemade cream cheese is not vegetarian, I chose to use animal rennet. I also like using liquid rennet. It is easier to measure than the tablets.
While making cream cheese is easy, it is not fast. The first part of the process takes about 11 hours. After the cream cheese has coagulated, you will need to drain the whey. It will take several days for enough of the whey to drain from the cream cheese. You may need to put something heavy on top of it to press more of the whey out.
The time it takes to make the cream cheese is worth it. It is so creamy and delicious.
- 32 oz milk, non ultra pastuerized
- 48 oz heavy whipping cream
- 2 oz buttermilk
- 3 drops rennet
- 1 Tbsp table salt
- 1 large non-reactive pot (Glass, stainless steel, and enameled are the most common nonreactive pans. Aluminum pans are reactive.)
- A thermometer that will read 70ºF
- Muslin cheesecloth (I just get muslin the cheapest from the fabric store)
- A large colander
- A large bowl
- A strong rubberband
- In the large non-reactive pot, mix whole milk and heavy whipping cream. Bring up to 70ºF. Remove from heat add buttermilk and stir. Add rennet, stir, cover and allow to sit for 10-12 hours at room temperature.
- Remove lid, sprinkle salt over the surface of the mixture. Using a whisk, cut the gelled mass into small curds. The curds will look very different from the curds of the mozzarella. It won’t really look like curds at all.
- Place the colander over the large bowl and place the muslin in the colander covering it. Pour the mixture into the muslin lined colander. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. Then pull up the sides of the muslin and tie together with the rubberband.
- Place bowl, colander, and muslin filled with cream cheese in the refrigerator. Allow to drain until it is the consistency you desire. I left mine for about 5 days.
- The whey that drains out can be used for bread making.
- The cream cheese will have a little bit of a tangy flavor. And I have yet to get it to the consistency of the cream cheese block. It is more of the consistency of the cream cheese bought in a tub.
- For sour cream, do everything the same as above except allow it to sit in the non-reactive pot at room temperature for 12 hours. And allow to sit in the colander lined with muslin for 1 1/2 hours instead of 30 minutes. And allow to drain for 1 to 2 days. Sour cream isn’t quite as thick as cream cheese.
Adapted from: SheSimmers
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