Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Homemade Cream Cheese

First I want to say that I claim nothing about this cheese other than the fact that I love the work of this man. I love smart people. His name is David B. Fankhauser, Ph.D., Professor of Biology and Chemistry University of Cincinnati Clermont College. I have been practicing the recipe he wrote for cream cheese May 5, 2003 for Redco foods. His cheese pages are fabulous. This is the method I use and I love it. It's so very similar to the beginning stage of cottage cheese making that I may have repeated some pictures.
This is a soft, spreadable cheese originated from France and is eaten fresh. It's sometimes called Farmer's cheese. I use it in cheesecake, fold it into hot pasta, spread it on crunchy toasted sourdough, mix it with is cream cheese. You do need a few basic pieces of equipment.
Dr. Fankhauser uses the following:
5 quart stainless steel pot with a lid, sterilized by boiling water 5 minutes.
Wire whisk
Thermometer (should read in the range of 32-200 degrees)
Quart strainer
1 quart bowl (to receive dripping curd)
Sterile handkerchief (sterilized by boiling and hanging to dry)
Receiving container to catch draining whey. A one gallon bowl or bucket will do fine.
1 gallon milk (can be made with whole milk for a richer flavor or skimmed milk for a lower calorie version. I often use fat free powdered milk.)
1/4 cup cultured fresh buttermilk
1/4 tablet Junket Rennet Tablet

Directions and method:
1. Pour the milk into the pre-sterilized 5 quart stainless steel pot. Warm to 65 degrees (use your thermometer!) with stirring.
2. Meanwhile, dissolve the 1/4 tablet rennet in 1/4 cup water.
3. When the milk reaches 65 degrees, remove from the heat and add the buttermilk. whisk to mix thoroughly.
4. Stir the dissolved rennet into the 65 degree inoculated milk. Blend thoroughly.
5. Cover and let sit overnight undisturbed at room temperature (65-70 degrees Fahrenheit).
6. The next morning, a clean break should have formed. If the milk isn't firm enough, let it sit until it does, as long as another 12 hours.
When the clean break is achieved, cut the curd into chunks and transfer to the sterile handkerchief supported in a large strainer and placed over a one gallon receiving bowl. Allow the whey to drain through.
You may save the whey for making muffins or quick bread. You may also use it to make ricotta cheese. That's a whole different recipe though. Here's what the whey looks like. It's kind of yellow and smells like milk. But it's clear.

On a personal note, I use a little clip after a while.

When most of the whey has drained off, take this little bundle of joy and if you have a smaller bowl with a strainer, put it in the fridge. The next day remove the cheese and mix in 1-3 tsp salt. It may be eaten immediately or stored in the fridge until use. Ours never lasts long.

Especially if there is fresh honey and sourdough in the house.

There you go.


Goob said...

that looks divine! Is it tangy at all? or mellow like Philly?

Chef Tess said...

It's almost exactly like Philly. If it gets too warm in my house then it gets slightly tangy. The professor doesn't recommend using dry milk, but mine has turned out fine using it.

Angela said...

Another project I've been wanting to try! You are amazing.

Salvage Chic Lady said...

Steph, I just found your blog, you are amazing, what energy you have. I on the other hand, am thankful for Wal-Mart:)

Chef Tess said...

LOL. Yeah for Wal-Mart! I'm a huge fan too. I just know that we had several tight years and a few things where almost considered luxury items. Cream cheese...well, let's just say it has been a blessing to know how to make a few things from scratch. Especially when good people would give me boxes of dry milk they didn't know how to use and with it I was able to make things my family would eat. Never hurts to have some extra skills. OH...and I adore your work Salvage Chick! Huge, huge, huge fan of the amazing stuff you create! Definitely sending a lot of folks your way!!