How to Make Homemade Cream Cheese
Many people believe that nothing compares to the taste of homemade cream cheese on a freshly toasted bagel. If you would like to try it for yourself, homemade cream cheese is fairly easy to make.
Pour 1 quart of cream or half and half into a glass bowl. Gently stir in a package (1/8 teaspoon) of Mesophilic starter culture. As an alternative, you can use 1/8 to ¼ cup of buttermilk.
Loosely cover the container (it should not be airtight) and let it sit on your kitchen counter for 8 to 12 hours. The exact amount of time will depend on the temperature in your kitchen. It will be done when it has set and resembles yogurt. The consistency does not need to be perfectly even.
Dump the thickened cream into a cheese cloth. Allow the whey to drip out into a bowl or bucket for at least 12 hours. The longer it drips, the firmer the cream cheese will be.
After the cream cheese has reached the desired consistency, you can sprinkle it with salt to make it keep longer or add any flavor you want. Some popular choices are cinnamon, fruit preserves, chives, and onion powder.
Store the cream cheese in an airtight container in your refrigerator. Enjoy!