Making homemade cream cheese is so simple. All you need is some raw milk or cream, a culture, and some time!
Recently, I have been obsessed with experimenting with Einkorn flour in our recipes. On the list of things that have been made over and over again is, bagels. What goes better with bagels than cream cheese? Nothing. The absolute best way to eat a bagel is with cream cheese slathered on top.
That being said, I was digging through my freezer the other day and I found a cream cheese culture packet. I was delighted to put it to use to make some delicious homemade dairy products. So, I am here today to share with you just how simple it is to make homemade cream cheese.
Many people get intimidated thinking about fermenting things at home. I can tell you from my own experiment that it is not as scary as it sounds. Actually, it’s rather very simple. Once you get started, you will be confident trying different ferments at home. This recipe is amongst the most simple of homemade milk products, in my opinion.
Why we choose to use Raw milk and cream
Raw milk consumption is definitely a controversial subject. That being said, I will not be diving into all the facts about it. I will, however, be sharing with you why I haven chosen raw milk for my family.
The first reason we have chosen to consume raw milk is because, we love the taste of whole raw milk and cream. It also lends itself well in all of our favorite recipes.
Raw milk from pastured cows, contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA has been said to prevent illnesses and diseases, such as cancer. Because of this, and other nutritional values it holds, we have chosen to trust raw milk over pasteurized. There is also a TON of beneficial bacteria present in raw milk.
One thing to be sure to do is, buy from small, local farms that you can tour and verify the quality of care that is taken into raising and milking the cows. Cleanliness is the key to healthy, raw milk. Here is a quick, good read on the benefits of raw milk consumption.
Where to get cultures for cream cheese
There are many companies that carry cream cheese cultures. The two brands that I have liked best for culturing my dairy products are NW Ferments and Cultures For Health. Wherever you choose to get your cultures, just be sure you stand behind what they are all about. We love to support local, small companies when possible, but Cultures For Health is always a great back-up option for us. When we can’t find cultures we need, locally, we are happy to purchase their products.
Supplies you will need to make homemade cream cheese
- Medium Stainless Steel pot with lid, no aluminum
- Wooden spoon
- Fine mesh strainer
- Butter muslin
- Medium bowl
- Food grade thermometer
How to make raw milk cream cheese at home
Begin by heating 1-4 quarts of either raw milk, cream, or combination of both in a pot over low to medium heat. Add in cream cheese culture and stir, gently, with an up and down motion.
Allow to reach 86 degrees. Be sure that the temperature rises slowly (1 degree per minute or slower). Once achieved, remove from heat and cover with a lid. Allow to culture for 6-12 hours.
It is normal to have the whey separate and rise to the top. After culturing is complete, place a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Line the strainer with a doubled butter muslin cloth.
Pour the cheese curds into the butter muslin and allow the whey to drain into the bowl.
Tie up the ends to create a “bag” and hang to strain over the bowl for a couple more hours. The key is to remove as much whey as possible. Especially, if you plan to freeze your cream cheese.
*Note: Save the strained whey to use in other recipes, such as homemade ricotta cheese.
Once most of the whey is strained from the cheese, untie the muslin bag. Add the cream cheese to a small bowl and massage in desired amount of salt, to taste (I used about 1 1/2 teaspoons).
Place in the fridge and use within one week. If freezing, place cream cheese in a freezer save container and use within 3 months. Be sure to use enough salt if freezing.
Ways to eat homemade, Raw milk Cream cheese
- The most popular way would be to enjoy it slathered on a homemade bagel, of course!
- Pair it with crackers, we love homemade sourdough crackers, and jam.
- Eat it with fresh or canned Wild caught Salmon.
- Since this cream cheese is a tad more crumbly than store bought, I also love it sprinkled on a salad.
- Add it to broth to create a creamy sauce.
- Sprinkle it in strawberry muffin mix just before baking.
- You could even put it inside a homemade berry pop-tart to make it berries and cream, the possibilities are endless!
Leave a comment below with your favorite way to enjoy homemade cream cheese!
More wholesome recipes from My abiding home:
- Sourdough Einkorn Crescent Rolls Simple Recipe
- The Best Sourdough Eggs Benedict Skillet Recipe
- The Best Crowd Pleaser Cookies
How To Make Cream Cheese with Raw Milk
- 1 Fine mesh trainer
- 1 Stainless steel pot
- 1 Butter Muslin cloth
- 1 Medium bowl
- 1 Spatula
- 1-4 quarts Raw Milk, Cream, or combo of both you could pasteurize first if you choose
- 1 packet Cream Cheese Culture
- In a Stainless steel pot, add milk/cream and culture. Use a spatula in an up and down motion to mix the culture in.
- Heat to 86 degrees, very slowly. No faster than 1 degree per minute.
- Once you've reached 86 degrees, remove pot from heat and place a lid on the pot.
- Allow to culture for about 8 hours.
- Set a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Line the strainer with a doubled butter muslin. Then, pour the cheese curds out onto the muslin to strain.
- Gather up the corners of the muslin to create a "bag." Hang over bowl and allow to strain for about 4-6 hours, or until most of the whey is strained.
- Massage desired amount of salt into cream cheese and store in the fridge.
- If freezing, remove as much whey as possible first and be sure to use enough salt. Freeze for up to 6 months.
- Use within 1 week.
- It is normal for the whey to separate from the curds and rise to the top.