Crystal's Cream Cheese

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Crystal Miller is the mother of 8. She and her husband, Tobin, live in western Washington. Crystal loves to write and encourage the homemaking, homesteading way of life! You can visit Crystal at her blog the Homemaking Homesteader or on her website The Family Homestead.
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Ingredients

    • 1 gallon goat's milk (store-bought cow's milk will work too!)
    • 1/4 tsp direct set mesophilic-m culture
    • 2 Tbsp diluted rennet (add 1 drop of rennet to 5 cool water)

Instructions

In a large pot (I use a 6-qt.) add goat's milk. Heat milk to 80 degrees. Remove from heat and add the mesophilic-m culture and stir will. Add the rennet and stir. Cover the pan and let sit undisturbed at room temperature for 12 to 18 hours.

After the time is up, what you have in the pot should look like very thick yogurt. Now you will drain and drip your cheese.

Line a colander with your clean pillowcase. I set this colander in a large bowl to catch the whey. Now drain your thick, yogurt-looking cheese into this cloth. Gather up the cloth and tie it tightly. Now you need to hang it somewhere. I have handles on my kitchen cupboard that work perfectly for this. Wherever you hang it, make sure it is up high enough to allow the whey to drip through the cloth into a bowl below. Now let your cream cheese drain for about 6 to 8 hours. You can speed this process along by stirring the cream cheese about halfway through the time, and you can do it again if you need to.

When it is completed, what you have left in the pillowcase is your cream cheese! You can salt it a bit or not; that is up to you. It is ready to be used right away over a homemade bagel, or you can use it for cooking or even cheesecake! You can also put some of the cream cheese in a food processor and blend it up a lot and you will end up with a great substitute for sour cream.

The whey can be used for cooking. I use it as the liquid to make bread or in pancakes. I also use the whey in making fermented vegetables (but that is a whole different article!).

Happy cream cheese making!
Recipes From GourmetSleuth.com - The Gourmet Food And Cooking Resource