Q:

How do you make homemade cream cheese?

A:

Quick Answer

To make homemade cream cheese, heat up milk, cream and a source of acidity, such as lemon juice, add salt and drain the resulting curds through a cheesecloth. Whey can be caught under the strainer and used for cooking.

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How do you make homemade cream cheese?
Credit: Brian Boucheron CC-BY 2.0

Full Answer

Cream cheese is soft uncured cheese with the minimum milk fat content of 33 percent and the maximum moisture content of 55 percent. Milk and cream that are used for preparing cream cheese should be pasteurized. Cream cheese is prepared by causing the clotting and coagulation of the milk with the help of acid-producing bacteria, or acidic liquids, and clotting enzymes. Salt can also be added.

  1. Prepare the ingredients
  2. Take equal parts — for instance, 2 cups or 2 quarts each — of whole milk and heavy cream, 1/3 cup lemon juice or 2 tablespoons cultured buttermilk, 1/4 Junket rennet tablet and 2 teaspoons salt.

  3. Make the milk and cream mixture
  4. Rinse a pot with cold water, then pour in the milk, cream and lemon juice, adding in some salt. Heat the mixture until it simmers gently. Alternatively, warm the milk and cream up to 70 degrees Fahrenheit and add the buttermilk. Separately, dissolve the rennet in cool water. Add the rennet to the mixture and leave overnight. Sprinkle with salt. Fish out the curd clumps with a slotted spoon.

  5. Drain the cheese
  6. Line a colander with sterile cheesecloth and place the cheese curds into it, over a bowl, to save the whey.

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