Cream cheese is a staple in our house, along with yogurt, kefir and ricotta. This cream cheese is incredibly simple to make. Mix milk, cream, buttermilk and a few drops of rennet together, then let them sit at room temp on the counter for 24 hours. Strain the yogurt-like curd into a colander lined with fine cheese cloth or a thin clean dish towel overnight. The next day you'll have a creamy, buttery spread for toast, pies, sandwiches, veggie and fruit dip, etc. Make buttermilk cream cheese part of your dairy staples.
Liquid rennet is available at your local co-op or online.
Buttermilk Cream Cheese Recipe
• 1 gallon whole milk (not UltraPasteurized)
• 1 pint cream
• 1/2 cup buttermilk
• 1/4 tsp liquid rennet
1. You will need 6 chèvre cheese molds, 1 basket large mold or a large colander and cheese cloth or a fine dish towel.
2. In a large bowl or pot combine the whole milk, cream, buttermilk and rennet. Set the milk on the counter top at room temperature and cover for 24 hours, undisturbed.
3. The next day the milk should have become a solid mass of a single cheese curd.
4. Place clean cheese molds on a wire rack set over a cookie sheet, or place a colander in the sink or over a large pot to catch the whey. Line cheese molds or colander with cheese cloth.
5. Gently spoon in curd. Cover with a clean cloth or plastic wrap and allow to drain on the counter for another 8-24 hours, depending on how dry and thick you like your cream cheese. Wetter cheese is more spreadable, drier cream cheese is great for cheese cake and baking.
6. At this point the cheeses can be unfolded into a sealed container and refrigerated. If you wish to retain the cheese mold shape, refrigerate them before unfolding. This soft cheese should last a few weeks. Eat as you would cottage cheese, softened chèvre or ricotta. It’s great on toast, with fresh fruit and I hear it makes a great cheese cake.
Tammy Kimbler grows, forages, cans, dries, pickles, ferments, brews, ages, cooks and eats from her Minneapolis, Minn., backyard. At One Tomato, Two Tomato, she aims to show how easy, accessible, healthful and delicious gaining control of your personal food system can be. Connect with Tammy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, and read all of her MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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