This Homemade Cream Cheese Pairs Perfectly With Bagels

Homemade Cream Cheese

Sometimes, there’s truly nothing better than starting your day with a bagel. Especially a homemade one. But you can make that morning meal even better by DIYing your cream cheese, too. It’s easy to pull off, so long as you plan ahead — the recipe below needs to sit overnight, so you can whip it up and enjoy the next day.

Homemade Cream Cheese

What You Need

  • 1 liter heavy cream
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon white vinegar (more or less to taste)
  • Instructions

    1. In a clean, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the cream, milk and salt on medium heat, stirring gently but constantly to discourage scorching. Heat until the mixture registers 180 F on an instant-read thermometer. The mixture will not come to a boil, but you may see some gentle bubbling.

    2. Once it reaches 180 F, remove the mixture from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes. Add ¼ cup of vinegar and stir gently, just to combine. Taste the mixture: if it’s not as tangy as you’d like, add a bit more vinegar. If you prefer it saltier, add more salt.

    3. Cover the mixture with a towel and let it rest at room temperature for at least 8 hours or overnight. When uncovered, you’ll see some separation occurring: a thick curd layer on top and a thin, watery liquid whey underneath. This is normal.

    4. Place a cheesecloth or cloth in a bowl and pour the mixture on top. Gather the edges of the cloth to form a pouch.

    Pro Tip: You want to suspend the cheesecloth so it can drip excess liquid into a vessel. You can use masking tape to secure the top of the bundle to the side of a bowl, allowing the liquid to drip down.

    5. Leave the mixture to drain for several hours or overnight. Keep monitoring the mixture: when it has stopped dripping whey and feels firm, you can remove it from its pouch. Now it’s ready to spread!

    Reply to Joan
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    19 Responses to “This Homemade Cream Cheese Pairs Perfectly With Bagels”
      • Kelli Basher
        Kelli Basher

        From other recipes for home made cream cheese, they state they will last 7-10 days in the refrigerator.

        Reply
    1. Janay
      Janay

      When mixture is draining through the cheesecloth overnight (Step 5) should it be refrigerated? This would be the 2nd day without refrigeration. Thank you for clarifying.

      Reply
      • Sandy Olson
        Sandy Olson

        Good question but I notice you have not received an answer. Does anyone monitor these posts on a regular basis? Hope so; no reason to ask questions if there isn’t someone out there to respond.

        Reply
      • Betsy
        Betsy

        I too have the same question about whether it should be refrigerated the second day while on the cheesecloth. Here in Florida it could easily spoil. Not sure why Craftsy does not reply

        Reply
      • Grace
        Grace

        Although the ingredients are different, this is the same method used when making Greek yogurt. Yes, the mixture should be refrigerated during the 2nd stage.

        Reply
        • Sandy Olson
          Sandy Olson

          You need to just follow the recipe to get the best results; don’t try to use other ingredients than what is called for.

          Reply
          • CarrieH
            CarrieH

            I don’t think people are not trying to follow the recipe. I think the challenge comes in wording. For example, here in Canada, we don’t have a product in the refrigerated dairy section of the grocery store. We do however, have Whipped Cream. It is 35% milk fat and no sugar added so I am personally guessing that is what is being called Heavy Cream in the recipe.

            Reply
            • CarrieH
              CarrieH

              Sorry to clarify…we don’t have a product called Heavy Cream in the refrigerated dairy section of the grocery store.

            • Amanda Graham
              Amanda Graham

              Whipping cream, at 35% BF, is heavy cream. Light cream is the cereal or coffee creams (18% or 10% BF).