Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Homemade Cream Cheese

If you are a fan of The EE on Facebook, you may have seen my post last Friday about making my own cream cheese. I had big plans to spend the afternoon creating my own creamy concoction...until I realized the first step in the process takes five seconds to do - and then 12 hours to set.

Regardless, by Sunday afternoon (I ended up starting on Saturday morning instead), Z and I had an impressive amount of homemade cream cheese to play with. And it took two easy steps over the course of 24 hours. The hardest part was the waiting.

I used this post as a guide, but it's a little too wordy for how easy making your own cream cheese really is. So, here's my version.

What you'll need:
-2 quarts light cream or half-and-half, at room temperature
-1 packet direct-set mesophilic starter (I got several packets at Modern Homebrew Emporium in Cambridge for under $6)

How to do it:
1.) Pour cream into a large bowl. Add packet of mesophilic starter and stir thoroughly. Cover, and let sit at room temperature for 12 hours. (72 degrees is an ideal temperature for this; if your house is warmer or colder, the time this mixture needs to sit may vary. When the cheese is ready, it should have the consistency of a smooth yogurt).
2.) Line a fine mesh strainer with cheese cloth. Once the cheese mixture is ready, pour it gently into the cheese cloth, then hang to dry for 9-12 hours, depending on how firm you like your cream cheese. To hang my cheese cloth, I simply tied the corners over my sink faucet and let it drain overnight.

Then, you'll have this:


Simply put the cream cheese in a Tupperware container in the fridge to help it firm up even more. Or, do as I did and split the cream cheese into several containers to make several different flavors. Z and I went to the farmers' market on Sunday and picked up scallions, so one of our containers became scallion cream cheese. The other? Jalapeno. We also saved a little bit of the plain for good measure.

The cream cheese should last in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks, and this batch makes enough for a good 30+ servings.

In the words of Ina Garten...how easy is that?


10 comments:

  1. That's awesome. I had no idea you could make your own cream cheese.

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  2. I love this - I had no idea either. And after reading the chemistry-experiment list of weird additives in store bought cream cheese, I think this is the way to go. So easy.

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    1. I agree. I will definitely be making my own cream cheese again!

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  3. oh wow, that is awesome! didn't realize i could make my own cream cheese :) one to try!

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  4. I had no idea it was that easy to make cream cheese! And I LOVE cream cheese! Good job :)

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    1. Thanks, Bianca! It was incredibly easy!

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  5. who knew! this looks so good!

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  6. woah who knew you could whip this up at home? love the flavors you made!

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  7. I think mozzarella is a similar process!

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