Thursday, September 23, 2010

Homemade Cream Cheese

So for the last year I have wanted to make my own cheese. I read that cream cheese was the easiest and you don't have to wait months to eat it....turns out it takes about 24-30 hours. Since I made my first batch of bagels yesterday (recipe below) I thought "when am I going to find a better time to do it!" So here is how I did it. Most of this was copied from the website I got the recipe from.

What I personally recommend is to buy culture that you add directly to your milk. These are called, “Direct Set Cultures”. I like this because I can decide to make cream cheese and not have to wait for buttermilk to culture.

I buy these cultures from Leeners . They have good prices and are super to do business with. The type of culture needed for this cheese is called, Mesophilic-M. You can find this culture on this page: . You don’t need a lot: ¼ of a teaspoon will culture 1 gallon of milk. You will also need to purchase liquid rennet for my recipe. Rennet is used to set the cultured milk. You can find the rennet here:

There are a few other miscellaneous, but important items you will need. One is a thermometer that is easy to read. You can purchase these at the grocery store in the cooking aisle or at a store such as Wal-Mart.

The other item you need is cheesecloth. I learned that I don’t actually need cheesecloth and that it is not really even the best material for the job. The very best material to use to drain your cream cheese is simply an old pillow case. You can call this stuff “case cloth”! I took an old pillow case and opened it up. I washed it with hot, soapy, bleach water to clean and disinfect it. This works great and will last you a long time.

You will also need a strong string to hang the cheese. Again I found through some trial and error that old shoestrings work the best. I washed the shoestrings right along with the pillow case in the hot, soapy bleach water before I used them.

1 gallon goat’s milk (I used a gallon of whole cow's milk from the grocery store)

¼ t. direct set mesophilic-m culture

2 T diluted rennet (add 1 drop of rennet to 5 T cool water)

In a large pot (I use a 6qt) add goat’s milk. Heat your milk to 80 degrees. Remove from heat and add the mesophilic-m culture and stir will. Add the rennet and stir. Cover the pan and let sit undisturbed at room temp for 12 to 18 hours.

After your time is up what you have in the pot should look like very thick yogurt. Now you will drain and drip your cheese.

Line a colander with your clean pillow case. I set this colander in a large bowl to catch the whey. Now drain your thick yogurt looking cheese into this cloth. Gather up the cloth and tie it tightly. Now you need to hang it somewhere. I have a clothes bar in my laundry room that i tied it to. Whatever you hang it make sure it is up high enough to allow the whey to drip through the cloth into a bowl below. Now let your cream cheese drain for about 6 to 8 hours. You can speed this process along by stirring your cream cheese up about halfway through the time and you can do it again if you need to.

When it is completed what you have left in the pillow case is your cream cheese! You can salt it a bit or not, that is up to you. It is ready to be used right away over a homemade bagel or you can use it for cooking or even cheesecake!  To me, it tastes a lot like sour cream and I bet if you added some berries or jam you could pretend it was yogurt.

1 comment:

Creations By Trees said...

So like I said earlier, this tastes more like sour cream but if you add some sugar and vanilla and put it on a bagel...HOLY COW ITS DELICIOUS. I also read somewhere if you put jelly or jam in it then it tastes really good too. Maybe I will try that out too soon!