Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cream Cheese

I don't know about you, but I do enjoy cream cheese on my crackers or toast. I used to buy what the store had to offer but after reading the ingredients with my brain, instead of my stomach, I decided that Trader Joe's would be a cleaner product.TJ's did have a much healthier product but the taste was not to my palate. (doesn't that sound high fallutin?). That meant no more cream cheese for me.

Then I remembered that somewhere in my recipe pile, I had a recipe. About 35 years ago I tore it out of a Sunset magazine. I haven't made it in a long time. Like anything that it is old, it needed some tuning up. It has taken 3 times recently to get it to my liking. I make it with non fat milk but I have found that that makes a slightly bitter cheese. The texture is good but the recipe needed more fat. So, this time I used whole 1/2 & 1/2, instead of fat free 1/2 & 1/2. Now, it is fine.

It is very easy. You heat the milk and 1/2 & 1/2 to 120 degrees. Mix in the buttermilk. Set out on your counter (covered but vented) for about a day and a half. When good, firm curds form, pour into a cheese cloth lined colander and drain off the whey, making sure the colander is in a pan or bowl large enough to catch the drippings. Some people drink the whey. I give it to the dogs. Then, cover it with plastic wrap tightly, put in refrigerator for another day. After that, take it out, scrape off cheese into a bowl, add a small amount of salt and then get out the crackers.

There are a lot of herbs you can add for an extra treat. I have been adding pimentos.
I used 1 1/4 quart non fat milk and 1 cup 1/2 & 1/2. But this is the beauty of making something for yourself, you can please yourself!!


Phyllis said...

I don't eat dairy anymore, but I used to make my own yogurt when my children were small. It was so better than store-bought. I think this is true of most things. I guess we all should be a little cautious these days of packaged or canned food. There is always the satisfaction too of making things from scratch that is soothing to the mind and palate.

patrice said...

I love cream cheese! I love it on toast with sliced cucumbers.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Wow, that is amazing making your own cream cheese...it has put me in the mood to make my own tasty yogurt...it is surprising how much better the yogurt tastes...I can just imagine how great your cream cheese must taste. I'm a bagel and cream cheese with tomatoes girl but toast would work too!