I love making food from scratch. I like knowing exactly what my family is eating because I control the ingredients. I make spice blends, meatrubs, sauces, and baking basics from scratch. Today, I am showing you how to make cream cheese. Yes, cream cheese that you can make right in your own kitchen and it turns out tangy, rich and creamy. Yum! It is great to know how to do this since there has been a cream cheese shortage the past few months.
- 4 c. whole milk
- 2-3 T. lemon juice or white vinegar
- ¼-1/2 tsp. salt (see notes at the bottom)
In a heavy bottom pan, heat up the milk over medium-high heat. Be sure to stir continuously. You need the milk to come to a rolling simmer. Once it does, turn it down to medium heat and stir in the lemon juice, just one tablespoon at a time. Put one tablespoon of the lemon juice in and stir it for a minute. You are wanting the milk to curdle. If after a minute, it has not curdled, then stir in another tablespoon of lemon juice and stir for another minute. You do this until the milk has curdled and separated. Remove the pan from heat and there should be thick curdles on top and a greenish substance on the bottom.
Get a bowl and cover the top with cheesecloth. Slowly pour the heated mixture over the cheesecloth and into the bowl. Allow the mixture to strain for about 15 minutes. Once the time has elapsed, take the strained curds and put into a blender or food processor and blend until they turn creamy and smooth. It will probably take 3-4 minutes. If the cream cheese you are making looks grainy, add in ¼ teaspoon of salt. The salt adds flavor and helps to break down the curds. This is also where I generally mix in some garlic powder or herbs if I want the cream cheese to be served on crackers but if you are going to bake with it, just add in the salt. Taste the cream cheese. If it tastes a bit bland, add in a bit more salt to heighten the flavor.
Store in a covered container in your refrigerator for 10-14 days.
Makes 1 cup.