Introduction: How to Make Cream Cheese

About: Eric J. Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. Eric believes in making technology accessible through understanding, and strives to inspire others to learn …

Making cream cheese is much easier than you think!

This is an adaptation of the cream cheese recipe from Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions. Using this method, you get wonderful cream cheese and whey, which can be used to make sauerkraut, ginger ale, or many other lacto-fermented foods.

It couldn't be easier: Put plain yogurt in a dish towel or cheese cloth and let the whey drip out overnight. I tied my dish towel together with rubber bands, and suspended it from a cabinet knob over a pitcher. Once the cream cheese and whey are separated, scrape the cream cheese out of the cloth with a spatula, and salt it to to taste. Refrigerated whey will last for months. In the images, I used goat milk yogurt and red Alaea Hawaiian sea salt, which makes the cream cheese slightly pink. Cow's milk and plain salt will both work just fine.

Homemade cream cheese is one of my favorite things to bring to brunches or dinner parties. Everyone is so amazed that I make my own cream cheese, and the flavor is much stronger and more "real" than processed cream cheese; Sally Fallon writes, "The cream cheese is far superior to the commercial variety, which is produced by putting milk under high pressure and not by the beneficial action of lactic-acid-producing bacteria."