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Cream cheese made at home. Why not?
This recipe requires several days to prepare. Also, you’ll need a candy thermometer and some cheese cloth.
Day 1: In a saucepan, heat cream and half-and-half to 32°C (90 F) on your candy thermometer. Remove pan 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, draft free 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 if so.
Day 2: Pour the mixture into a colander that you’ve lined with cheese cloth and set the colander 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 discard it. Place the colander back over the bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 12-14 hours.
Day 3: Remove the cheese 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 a piece of 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 colander/bowl back in the refrigerator and let it sit for 36-48 hours, depending on the firmness you desire for 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.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!