Introduction: Homemade Creamcheese (without a Starter Culture)

About: An Italian living in China with a passion for cooking. I grew up in a picturesque town called Lecce nestled on the “heel of the boot”, Italy’s southern tip, between the Adriatic and Ionian se…
My last challange was to homemake cream cheese, and I did it!

This recipe requires no special equipment, starter cultures or complicated ingredients. In fact, the only difficult thing is trying to plan it around your schedule because it takes about 5 days!

I did not take step-by-step pictures as I was not sure I was going to succed with this, but I will try to be as precise as possible in my instructions. Have fun people!

Ingredients (makes 250 g):

2 cups (475 ml) non-ultra pasteurized half and half
1/2 cup (117.5 ml) non-ultra pasteurized whipping cream
1 tablespoon (14 ml) buttermilk
Salt to taste
Day 1: In a saucepan, heat creams to 32° C (90 F). Remove from heat and stir in the buttermilk then pour the mixture into a mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, wrap a few kitchen towels around the bowl and place it in a warm area. Let the bowl sit there for twenty-four hours. After 24 hours, the cream mixture should have the consistency of a firm yogurt. It should not move when the bowl is tilted to the side. If the mixture still has some movement the culture needs more time to develop. Let it sit for another 6-12 hours.
Day 2: Pour the mixture into a colander lined with cheese cloth over a bowl. Allow it to drain for 15 minutes, then fold the cheese cloth over the cheese. Drain the whey out of the catch bowl and place the colander back over the bowl. Cover it with plastic and place it in the refrigerator for 12-14 hours.

Day 3: Remove the curd from the refrigerator and pour it into a mixing bowl. The cream cheese should be much firmer now. Stir in salt to taste. Line your colander with fresh cheese cloth. Pour the curd back into the colander. Wrap the colander with plastic wrap and place it back over your catch bowl. Place the cheese back in the refrigerator and let it sit for 36-48 hours, depending on the firmness you desire from your cream cheese.

Day 5: Place the finished cream cheese in a plastic or glass container and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.