There are so many different ways to make cream cheese. You could curd milk with anything from yogurt to lemon juice. However, to get a thick cream cheese, you need to use rennet. I also recommend culturing your milk before curding to add flavour.
The best thing about homemade cream cheese is that it is very affordable, spreadable and delicious!
- 4 cups milk (any percentage)
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 3 drops of liquid rennet (or ¼ tablet) (mixed with 2 tbsp, chlorine free water)
- 2 drops calcium chloride (mixed with 2 tbsp, chlorine free water)
- 1 tsp non-iodized salt (preferably cheese salt)
- Pre-culture your milk for 12 hours if you want a more flavourful cheese. (This is optional. See notes for more info.)
- Heat milk and cream up to 72 F.
- Gently whisk in calcium chloride for 1 minute. Then gently mix in the rennet, being sure to use an up and down motion so that it is fully mixed in.
- Leave for 12 hours at 72 F (put it near your hot water heater or on your fridge). The milk should have firmly curded.
- Pour the curds into a strainer lined with several layers of cheese cloth. Tie the corners together and allow to hang for 6-8 hours.
- Remove curds from the cheese cloth and place in a bowl with the salt. Stir to combine. Store in a container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
-Since this is a fresh cheese, sterilization is not as necessary. But it’s always important to keep everything clean!
-Use buttermilk or kefir to culture your milk for a delicious and probiotic cheese.
-If you have never made cheese before, I recommend reading this overview post on making cheese for a detailed explanation of each of the steps.
-For a firm cream cheese, press after salting. Pack the cheese into a cheese cloth lined mold and press for 12 hours for a cream cheese brick. To learn more read this post on finishing cheeses.
Flavoured Cream Cheese
- Berry Whipped Cheese: Mix 1/2 cup of finely chopped fresh berries into a batch of cream cheese (blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are perfect.)
- Cinnamon Honey: Mix 2 tsp cinnamon, dash of nutmeg, 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1/2 cup of honey into the cream cheese. Perfect for dipping apples or spreading on carrot cake!
- Roasted Garlic and Red Pepper: Roast 2 red peppers and 4 cloves of garlic. Peel and deseed the red pepper. Grind the red pepper and garlic into the cream cheese using a food processor.
- Herb: Finely dice 1/2 cup of fresh basil, 1/2 cup of chives and 2 tbsp of fresh parsley. Mix into the cream cheese.