I am such a rebel.
I finally found a good local source of grassfed raw milk! Which is illegal in my state….boo! So I’m a rebel, and we purchase two gallons of it a week. I make no apologies. It’s been glorious. Ever since we found this gem of a family farm, we haven’t been able to get enough of this liquid gold!
My kids are drinking more milk then they were before – which is a great thing because they weren’t big milk drinkers. I think they’re bodies can tell the difference.
And I’ve decided to start delving into a bit of cheese making. Nothing too scary though. I’ve made ricotta before, which was pretty easy but wow a lot of whey! For my next cheese making adventure I wanted to try cream cheese.
I love cream cheese. My kids love cream cheese. I use it in savory dishes, sweet dishes, and for snacks – my kids will eat it straight up with carrots! So it seemed the obvious next step in my cheese making education.
But why make it yourself? Well, when making cream cheese (and other cheeses and yogurt as well), you don’t need to heat it up to the pasteurization temperature, which means when you are using raw milk you can preserve most of the awesome raw milk properties that renegades like me are after! (you can read about the amazingness of raw milk HERE)
And besides, it’s sooo easy!
Seriously the hands on time here is maybe 10 minutes.
All you need is milk and some cream cheese culture. I use Cultures for Health for all my cultures, and I highly suggest them. I’m not affiliated with them, I just really love their products. They offer heirloom strains of all kinds of cultures for cheese making, sourdough starters, yogurt, keifer, you name it!
Ok, so let’s get to it, shall we?
Homemade Cream Cheese
1 quart whole milk
1 packet cream cheese culture
Stainless steel pot
1. Pour your quart of milk into the pot and slowly bring it up 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Quickly dump in your cream cheese culture, stir for 15 seconds.
3. Put on lid, remove from heat, and let sit for 12-18 hours. (note: Because of the time of day I started this, I ended up leaving it for 18hrs….I found it to be a bit too sour, not unpalatable by any means, but for my tastes it was too fermented. So I recommend smelling it at around 12hrs and deciding from there if you want to let it keep going).
4. After it’s done culturing, the whey and the cream cheese may be separated which is fine, it’s time to strain the whey. To do this simply take a strainer and place it in pot. Line the strainer with a flour sack and then dump the curds and whey into it. Tie it up and let it hang there over the pot for 6-12 hours. Again check it as you go to make sure it’s the consistency you like.
5. Once you’ve strained enough whey to make it the consistency you like, untie the flour sack and remove the cream cheese. At this point you can put it directly in a storage container or you can mix in a bit of salt – which is what I did. I don’t know how much, I just added a pinch or two until it tasted the way I liked.
6. Refrigerate and enjoy on some homemade crackers or bagels or anything else that meets your fancy!
See, easy! Enjoy my friends!!
Oh and you need to know what to do with the whey?? I stored some in a jar to use in baking, soups or as an organic garden fertilizer. I gave the rest to my chickens and they LOVED it. Here are some more great ideas on how to use the whey, I’m sure you’ll find something you’d like to try!
This post shared at: The Art of Home-Making Mondays