So, there is a shortage of CREAM CHEESE? In Manhattan where a schmear on a bagel is a morning ritual, this is a critical situation.
Back in the day, while working in an industrial kitchen in North Jersey, just outside of NYC we did not BUY Cream Cheese – WE MADE IT FRESH every day. It is not that big a deal.
EQUIPMENT: high-quality stainless-steel saucepan, thermometer, or induction cooker with temperature readout, measuring spoons and cups, two 2½ to 3-foot squares of cheesecloth, large stainless steel, or glass bowl (not plastic), stainless steel strainer or colander. Be sure you clean all equipment well, rinse, and dried completely.
PREPARATION TIME -24 hours - Yields 7 to 8- Cups
- 5 cups heavy whipping cream and ½ cup of whole milk or 6 cups half n half
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar (Bragg’s is the best for flavor and color)
- White distilled vinegar or fresh lemon juice as a substitute
Using tongs to hold the cheesecloth, sterilize the cheesecloth over a steaming pot of boiling water about 5 minutes, turning. Use purified or filtered water as tap water releases chlorine gas and other chemicals and give you a smaller yield.
Drape the cheesecloth squares over the steamer colander, then place it in a large bowl or in the sink to drain the why.
Bring the cream and milk or Half N Half to a gentle simmer over medium low heat 175ᵒF to 185ᵒF.
When the milk reaches temperature and begins to simmer, add the vinegar, stir, and remove the pan from the heat and allow to rest 20 to 30 minutes. Curds will begin to form. Do not stir, mix or move.
Then slowly pour the mixture into the cheesecloth. Allow the mixture to rest in the cheesecloth until it reaches room temperature, about 40 to 45 minutes.
Let the mixture rest in the cheesecloth for 30-45 minutes to remove the heavier whey, then gather the ends of the cheesecloth together. Tie the bundle securely and suspend the bundle 2 to 3 inches over a bowl using a faucet, or cabinet handle or anything where it can hang to drain off the whey for 12 to 24 hours at room temperature.
Squeeze the bundle gently to remove any remaining liquid, then transfer the cream cheese into s clean, stainless-steel container and cover with saran wrap or with a tight-fitting cover. Or you can store it in an empty Philadelphia Cream container.
Now, when you go to your favorite morning bagel spot and the tell you they are OUT OF CREAM CHEESE give them a copy of this recipe and collect your free FRESH schmear on a Bagel the next morning.