How to make
How to make delicious, soft homemade Cream Cheese using a simple method and 3 ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen.
It is quite staggering how many ingredients you can make from a single dairy product. Cream cheese, cheese, butter, buttermilk, whey and so much more.
Whole Milk, Lemon Juice and Salt that is all you need to make creamy soft cheese. It can also be customised in any way you’d like – with herbs, pepper, sweet peppers, sweet chilli, or used for a variety of sweet or savoury purposes. Just use your imagination and you will have the best cream cheese ever.
We will keep things simple this time for you to get used to making your cream cheese for the first time.
There are loads of possible combinations with the milk used as well: Combining milk and cream in equal parts instead of just using milk, or even using heavy cream alone. Obviously the more cream you use, the richer your final product will be. However, it would also up the fat levels.
There are some recipes of cream cheese using liquid Rennet, a cheese culture/starter, but we won't use that! Instead we will be using lemon.
WHY MAKE YOUR OWN CREAM CHEESE?
Probably some cheap brands out there and much easier just crabbing from a shelf at the supermarket. But I can tell something, nothing will bit a homemade cream cheese that you know exactly what is inside. Apart from the flavour and the texture you won't find those ‘E’ ingredients, gums and thickeners including the controversial carrageenan!
Homemade cream cheese simply uses lemon juice, milk and salt and is still wonderfully smooth and creamy.
HOW TO MAKE CREAM CHEESE:
Heat your milk, add a coagulant, leave to curdle, drain and blend!
Maybe a bit more than that, but I will show you step by step.
What do you need?
full-fat milk – it’s important to use full-fat milk because of its fat content.
optional add-ons – dried herbs, garlic powder, dried chillies
You will also need a cheesecloth or a fine-mesh sieve
Step by Step
Begin by pouring the milk in a saucepan. Heat the milk and bring it to boil over medium-high heat.
As soon as it boils, add the lemon juice and then turn off the heat.
Set aside for a few minutes while the milk curdles. You will notice curds forming and a yellow liquid being left behind.
Within a few minutes, all of your curds should have formed. Pour the curdled milk through a cheesecloth and a sieve to strain all the liquid whey.
Rinse the curdled milk with cold water by pouring the water over the sieve. This will help to get rid of any extra whey, clinging to the curds.
Squeeze the curdled milk as much as possible to drain any last drop of the liquid whey.
Put the strained milk into a food processor/blender and add the salt.
Within minutes (this may vary, depending on how powerful your machine is) you will have a light and fluffy cream cheese.
This is the perfect time to add any herbs/flavourings. Be aware that certain additional ingredients will affect the shelf-life of the cheese. Dried herbs and garlic powder as natural flavourings won't affect the shelf life too much.
How about storage?
Store the cream cheese in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.
What to do with the Whey liquid?
When you drain the cream cheese, you will have a lot of leftover liquid. This is the cheese whey and is jam-packed with protein and a variety of vitamins/minerals. Please do not waist this precious liquid, can be used in so many ways.
You can add the whey to smoothies and juices, for a protein and nutritional boost;
It can be used in soups, in place of stock, or even combined with homemade vegetable stock;
Whey liquid works well within baking recipes, including pancakes, bread, muffins, etc;
I normally store mine in jars and freeze as it is to much to use at once;
Small jars in the freezer for whenever you need on your daily recipes.