How to Make Cream Cheese at Home

by Andrine Redsteer

Homemade cream cheese can be used in recipes or as a spread

Shana Novak/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Items you will need

  • Milk
  • Mesophilic-M culture
  • Rennet
  • Thermometer
  • Cheesecloth
  • String

Cream cheese is a spreadable cheese with a slightly sweet, mild flavor. In 1872, the first cream cheese made for sale was introduced in New York. Since then, it has become an essential ingredient in many recipes. Cream cheese does not have to mature and is meant to be eaten fresh; it can be used on bagels and crackers but it's also used to make a variety of other things, such as cheesecake and frosting.

Step 1

Pour the milk into a sauce pot. You can choose either cow's milk or goat's milk, whichever you prefer. If you're using a gallon of milk, make sure you have at least a 6-quart sauce pot. Heat the milk to 80 degrees.

Step 2

Take the milk off the heat, add the Mesophilic-M culture and stir well. You'll need 1/4 teaspoon for every gallon of milk. Mesophilic-M culture can be purchased online and is often sold in cheese shops.

Step 3

Add the rennet. Dilute one tablet of rennet in 5 tablespoons of water. After the rennet is diluted, measure 2 tablespoons of the diluted rennet solution to the milk and culture mixture and stir well. Rennet will set the cheese to give it a spreadable consistency. Cover the pan and leave it undisturbed at room temperature for at least 12-16 hours.

Step 4

Drain and drip the cheese after it has sat for the required 12-16 hours. Line a colander with some cheesecloth and begin scooping your milk mixture into it. Gather the ends and tie it tightly. Hang it up in a place where you can keep a bowl underneath to catch the dripping whey. Let it drain for 6-8 hours.

Step 5

Remove your cream cheese from the cheesecloth. You can add a little salt, chives or any other herb you desire. You can now put it in a sealable container and keep it refrigerated.

Tips

  • If cheesecloth is difficult to find, you can wash and bleach a pillow case, cut it in half and use it just as you would a cheesecloth.

Photo Credits

  • Shana Novak/Digital Vision/Getty Images

About the Author

Andrine Redsteer's writing on tribal gaming has been published in "The Guardian" and she continues to write about reservation economic development. Redsteer holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Washington, a Master of Arts in Native American studies from Montana State University and a Juris Doctor from Seattle University School of Law.