Monday, April 6, 2009

Making sour cream and cream cheese

My mom is going to make a couple of cheesecakes for the coming weekend. We didn’t really want to use commercially processed cream cheese or sour cream. There’s so much nonsense put in those things that, although they may taste good, they can’t be very good for you. I prefer to not ingest such things as stabilizers E410 and E407. So, I searched online how to make our own.

Making sour cream was the first thing, and it turned out to be very easy. We regularly make yogurt from our fresh cow’s milk. I put several tablespoons of live culture yogurt in a jar, add warm whole milk (still warm from the cow), shake it all together, and put in our homemade yogurt maker for several hours. (The yogurt maker consists of an ice chest with a light fixture attached to the inside of the lid which is wired to a water heater thermostat.) It’s good stuff.

Sour cream is made in very much the same way. I take a quart of cream that I previously skimmed from off the top of cooled milk, add four tablespoons of yogurt, and set it in the yogurt maker overnight. In the morning, I put it in the fridge to cool. It makes a very good sour cream. Being cultured, it’s also good for you. By the way, we don’t pasteurize our milk – our cow is healthy and pasteurization kills good things like enzymes that are important and good for us.

Cream cheese takes a little more time, but it’s also easy. I start with one gallon of fresh warm milk that’s just been strained. I add 1/8 teaspoon of Mesophilic-M starter (ordered from Leeners) and one drop of vegetable rennet. Stir this all together and set the milk on top of the refrigerator overnight.

curd in cloth to drain off wheycream cheese still in the wheyAround 10:30 in the morning, I pour the now thickened and good-smelling milk into a cloth in a colander. We collect the whey as it’s good to use in baking and other things (the live cultures draining wheyit contains are good for you). I tie up the curd which is in the cloth and hang it in a jar or pitcher so that the whey can continue to drain off. After about 9 hours, the cream cheese is ready. One gallon of milk makes a pound of cream cheese.

We’ll see later this week how the cheesecake turns out. I expect it will be excellent!


Kendra at New Life On A Homestead

This is so cool! I would love to learn to make sour cream and cream cheese. I wish we had room for a cow! We have goats that I plan on breeding and milking when they are old enough. I'm so new to all of this, and have so much to learn. I would love it if you checked out my blog and gave me any advice you could spare! I need all the help I can get. Thanks for sharing so much on your blog! I can't wait to read more...

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