For real cream cheese, you need little more than milk, cream, rennet, starter culture and a bit of sea salt. This recipe is generously adapted from Artisan Cheese Making at Home: Techniques & Recipes for Mastering World-Class Cheeses by Mary Karlin available from Ten Speed Press. You can find the cheese making supplies like mesophilic cheese starter, rennet and muslins online (see sources).
Servings: 1½ lbs
Author: Jenny McGruther
1quartwhole milk(preferably raw, not ultrapasteurized)
1quartheavy cream(preferably raw, not ultrapasteurized)
¼teaspoonmesophilic cheese starter
3drops liquid rennet(dissolved into 2 tablespoons filtered water)
Pour milk and cream into a large (6-qt) heavy-bottomed stock pot and warm it over low heat until it reaches 75 F - about 15 minutes, then remove it from the heat.
Sprinkle starter over the warm milk and let it sit about 5 minutes to rehydrate. Stir the milk and starter together with 20 up and down strokes, then stir in the dilute rennet with 20 up and down strokes. Cover it and allow it to sit at room temperature for up to 12 hours until whey separates from the curds.
Line a sieve with butter muslin, pour in the curds and whey then tie up the corners of the muslin to form a bag and hang it from an elevated hook in your kitchen (I use my pot rack or my faucet) over a basin to catch the dripping whey. Allow the curds to hang about 8 hours - discarding the whey or reserving it for another use.
Transfer the strained cheese to a large bowl, beat in the salt and form into bricks or spoon into a mason jar and refrigerate. It should keep about 2 to 3 weeks.
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