Homemade Cream Cheese

Making your own cream cheese couldn’t be easier.

Thanks to John Maxwell (Kelly’s hubby) for providing this month’s DIY kitchen experiment!

Did you know you can make your own cream cheese? It’s natural, cheaper than buying it at the grocery store, and as easy as falling off a log.

Start with yogurt. A 650g tub should do and will leave you with about 250g of cream cheese.

Grab a cheesecloth. Don’t have a cheesecloth? A plain white pillowcase works in a pinch. You’ll also need a big pot. Empty the yogurt into the pillowcase (er, cheesecloth), squeeze it all down to one end, twist the case so that it’s nice and tight against the yogurt inside. It’s already dripping whey; this is where the pot comes in handy: wrap the cloth around the handle of a big wooden spoon and suspend the whole thing over the pot.

Leave it overnight. In the morning, you’ll find 200g or so of whey in the pot. (I usually throw out the whey, but it can come in handy. Do a Google search for what you might wish to do with it.) Open up the pillowcase, sprinkle a scant teaspoon of salt over the cheese, and fold it in with a knife. Then re-pack the pillowcase, squeeze it again, and let it hang for another few hours.

That’s it. Cream cheese! Scoop it out into a bowl or tub, and enjoy. At this point it gets interesting if you add things to it, too: basil leaves, other herbs, peppercorns. Just add and mix. Your bagels will never be the same.