Introduction: Dead Easy Cream Cheese
This is the very first effort in my foray into cheesemaking!
Aside from the fact I was attempting to make ricotta, it turned out pretty damn well.
It's a perfect spreadable texture. Look how it held the texture from the tea towel it was wrapped in! It's so creamy and the salt & vinegar give it so much tastiness. Also leaving it out at room temperature for a day gives it an extra little background flavour of cheesy funk that sounds gross in words but is delicious in your mouth.
Home Made Cream Cheese
Time: 2 days, 20 minutes of actual work
- medium, heavy bottomed pot
- measuring cup
- fine mesh seive
- cheesecloth / clean tea towel
- clean string or twine
- wooden spoon
- tall jar or pot
- 1 1/2 litres of heavy cream
- 1/3 cup white vinegar
- Splash of balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp salt
Heat cream + salt in a clean, heavy bottomed sauce pan on medium heat until it reaches 180F on a thermometer. Stir it gently so it doesn’t burn on the bottom.
If you don't have a thermometer, you want it to be just near boiling, bubbling slightly, with steam coming off the top. It will be hot to the touch, but try not to bring it to a full boil.
Once it reaches 180F, pull it off the heat and let it cool 5-10 minutes. Add in your vinegar. Taste it with a spoon, if its not tangy enough, add more vinegar. If it’s not salty enough, add more salt!
Step 1: Let It Sit
Leave in the pot with a tea towel over top over night, or at least 8 hours.
You'll notice that the cream begins to separate. You’ll have a thick layer of cream “curd” on top and a yellowy water underneath, that’s the whey.
Step 2: Hang It
Line a bowl with 4x layer of cheese cloth or a very clean tea towel. Pour in cream. Neatly tie the edges of the cloth together to make a sturdy pouch, and knot it well.
Tie it to the handle of a wooden spoon and hang it in a tall jar. Make sure to leave at least a couple of inches for the whey to drip into, without it building up and soaking the pouch. Or if your jar isn't tall enough, just drain off the whey into a separate container.
Leave it in the fridge overnight.
Step 3: Unbundled!
In the morning, give your pouch a squeeze (tee hee). If its nice and firm and not much more whey is going to be coming out of it, you can unbundle it! You should have a nice, spreadable cream cheese inside.
Philly’s got nothing on this bad boy!
Save the whey. You can use it in the place of buttermilk in recipes, to soak chicken in for tenderness, or add it to soups for extra nutrients.
Step 4: Yum.
Enjoy the fruits of your labour.