How to Make Cream Cheese
What You Need
- Double Boiler (Or a small pot sitting in a larger pot to create a water bath)
- Kitchen Thermometer
- Rubber Spatula
- 1 Quart (1 L) Whole Milk (Avoid ultra-pasteurized)
- 1 Quart (1 L) Heavy Cream (Avoid ultra-pasteurized. If you can only find ultra-pasteurized cream, use equal amounts full-fat milk instead.)
- 1/2 Cup (118mL) Plain Yogurt (With live cultures)
- 1/4 Cup (59mL) Non-Chlorinated Water (Bottled water or tap water left out overnight)
- 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
Prepare a water bath in a double boiler or two different sized pots so that a smaller pot fits into a larger pot. Heat water bath until it reaches 100° F (38° C). Turn off burner, the water bath will be enough to heat your milk in the next step.
When your water bath is at temperature, add milk and cream to the top pot and stir to incorporate. Cook, stirring occasionally, until milk reaches 90° F (32° C), about 20 minutes. Remove from water bath if milk gets too hot.
In a small bowl, add 1/2 rennet tablet and ¼ cup (59 ml) non-chlorinated water, stir to dissolve and set aside.
Once milk reaches temperature, remove from water bath, add yogurt and gently stir (both in a side to side and up and down motion to incorporate) about 30 seconds.
Add dissolved rennet solution to milk. Gently stir (both in a side to side and up and down motion to incorporate) about 30 seconds.
Cover pot and let sit undisturbed for 12 hours. Milk will form into a solid mass floating in clear whey.
After 12 hours. Assemble a strainer over a bowl. Line strainer with dampened cheese cloth. Strain curds.
When most of the whey has drained out (about 2-3 minutes) form a draining sack out of the cheese cloth by tying the four corners of the cloth together (two opposite corners at a time). Hang the curd-filled draining sack from your kitchen faucet, or use a spoon suspended across a pot or large bowl. Drain for 6 hours or up to overnight.
In a bowl, scoop curds from draining sack and add 1 teaspoon kosher salt, stir to incorporate.
Note: Add diced scallions, dill, jalapeños or anything else you like at this time.
Cover and chill for 1 - 2 hours to firm before eating. Cream cheese will keep refrigerated for 1 - 2 weeks. Enjoy!