How to Make Cream Cheese

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I have had a rash of comments on my cheese videos lately, and since they are some of my most popular videos I decided to do a couple more videos for those that are interested.

Today we will show how to make cream cheese. This is a very simple recipe – no measuring or special equipment needed. This is a great project for someone that wants to introduce a kid to cheese making.

Room temperature does effect the times – if your home is 72 or higher this cheese will take a lot less time to make. Do not get discouraged if your home is cooler and it looks like nothing is happening – the culture does not work fast when it is cold….

Ingredients

  • 1 quart light cream or half and half (I used 2 quarts – a package of commercial culture can inoculate up to two gallons of milk)
  • 1 package mesophillic culture

Procedure

  • Allow your half and half to reach room temperature, your cheese will set more quickly if it isn’t refrigerator chilled when you add the starter culture. I kept sitting it out, and the wife kept putting it back in the fridge – I would have been mad, but she thought I left it out accidentally as was trying to be helpful – the lesson is COMMUNICATE….)
  • Pour milk into a container, I see many using flat baking dishes, but I used a bowl because I did not have any plastic wrap to cover a flat dish. Technically it makes no difference as long as it is nonreactive.
  • Add your culture to the milk, sprinkling it over the top.
  • Let the culture set for a couple minutes before stirring. Mix very well.
  • Cover and let set from 8 to 12 hours.
  • When the cream cheese is set, it will have the texture of yogurt. (It may appear to you nothing is happening, but here is where you wait and be patient. When I made it in the video, I started at 6pm and at 7am the next morning the milk was not coagulating very much at all.)
  • Once it looks like yogurt. Drain the whey out by dumping the milk into a square of butter-muslin sitting in a large pot. I then collect the corners and tie into a bag. Then tie a string to the bag and let drain over the pot for 12 hours.
  • Once the whey has drained – package and store in the fridge. If you want to stir in herbs, fruit, jam, or honey go for it – but be careful, it doesn’t to take as much flavor as you would expect so don’t go overboard.

This does not store for as long as commercial cream cheese – and it is not as mild – but it has less preservatives and chemicals either, plus as you will find in later video it can be used to make more cultures.

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