Homemade cream cheese

I can remember reading some time ago, that home made cream cheese is super easy to make at home. Even better, it calls for using natural yoghurt, which is great if you make your own!

I was somewhat skeptical, thinking that the cream cheese needed special cultures added to make it 'real' cream cheese and that just draining yoghurt wouldn't make the cut. Curiosity overcame me though, and I decided to give it a go this week.

I made up a big batch of yoghurt with 2 ltrs of UHT milk and a couple of tablespoons of homemade yoghurt. It was placed in a casserole dish and left to set overnight in a warm oven (turned oven on 150c for about 10 mins and then turned off).

The next day, I was pleased to see the yoghurt had set nicely, if not as thick as the powdered milk version I often make. The whole lot was placed in a (damp) tea-towel lined bowl and the edges were bundled together with string.



The 'package' was then attached to a rolling pin, which was propped up with one end on the 'high' bench in my kitchen and the other end on some cans from my pantry. A bowl was positioned underneath to collect the whey that would drain out. (Apologies for the dark pictures...winter is a gloomy time in my kitchen).


I left it there to drain for about 9 hours. The bowl needed emptying several times as LOTS of whey seemed to accumilate in there.


This is the final result. Still apprehensive, I went in for the testing. It looked like cream cheese, felt like cream cheese and wouldn't you know it, it even tasted like cream cheese! It was delicious! Thick, creamy and sooo good. My daughters had it on their sandwiches for school lunch today. I am really excited to try some dips with herbs from the garden, and to also put it through the ulitmate test....baking!

But for today, I'm enjoying it on crackers with sweet chilli sauce!


Oh, and if all that wasn't enough, compare these prices:

Homemade: $2.20 for 2 litres milk (Aldi UHT), to make up approx 600g cheese, PLUS whey to use in baking/other uses.

Store bought: $4.50 for 250g cheese. ('Philadelphia' from IGA)

Which would you choose?


Click here to see how my homemade cream cheese performed in a baked cheesecake.

Comments

  1. Great work Christine. Did you also know that philly in a tub has preservatives added? The philly block does not.

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  2. Christine, that's fantastic, I make my own yoghurt, so this would not be a stretch at all....I'm thinking cheesecake....!
    Tammy, I had noticed that the philly tub had preservatives and the block not, interesting hey?! I stopped buying the tubs when I realised.

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  3. No, Tammy, I had no idea! Thanks for the info (I don't use it all that often, but knowing now how easy it is to make, that might change).

    It's ridiculously easy, Christie, and the final result is SO good! Mmm, I do like your cheesecake line of thinking :o)

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  4. How exciting! I'd love to try that. Thanks for the education, and I love the rigged up cheese-drain. =)

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  5. Might have to have another go at this last time I had no whey drain out maybe I make my yoghurt too thick to start with.

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  6. I always referred to this as Quark, but I do as you do to make it, love the rolling pin hanger and tea towel, might try that instead of the muslin and colander. I add some vinegar, diced onion and some chives and use it to make dressing for potato salad, if it is to thick I thin the dressing with some milk..

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  7. Debbie, this yoghurt was not nearly as thick as the powdered milk version. It was kind of like the consistancy of 'gloopy' custard. Maybe this could've been the difference...?

    Wendý, yes I have heard it called Quark too. Your potato salad dressing sounds delicious..I'll remember that one!

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  8. Does using UHT milk mean you don't have to heat it first then, in the yoghurt making? Or did you just not mention that step? I've just started making my own yoghurt. I'm defintely going to try this :)

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  9. That's correct, Kirsten. UHT milk has already had it's protein structure changed by the heat treatment, enabling us to make yoghurt without heating it like we need to do with fresh milk. :)

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  10. Hi Christine,

    Do you know what we can do if UHT milk isn't available (regular full cream milk is)?

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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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