You will need:
- stainless steel pot with lid (no aluminum)
- non-aluminum spoon
- butter muslin, tight-weave dish towel, or yogurt bag
- raw or pasteurized cream or whole milk, or a mix of both (avoid ultra-pasteurized or UHT)
- 1 packet Cream Cheese starter culture (store remaining packets in freezer for future use)
- non-iodized salt
- Slowly heat (on low)1-4 quarts of milk or cream to 86° F. (heat the milk no faster than 1 degree per minute- this can take 30-40 minutes for a gallon). Remove from heat.
- Add one packet of Cream Cheese starter and mix thoroughly, using an up-and-down motion rather than a stirring motion. Mix no longer than 15 seconds.
- Place the lid on the pot and allow to culture in a warm spot, 72-77° F., for 12 hours.
- The Cream Cheese should be set after 12 hours. There may be some separation of the whey-this is normal. Place the colander in a bowl & line the colander with a double layer of butter muslin or dish towel. Spoon the cheese curds into the colander, gather up the corners of the cloth, and tie them together to make a bag (a yogurt bag can also be used).
- Hang the Cream Cheese- filled bag over a bowl to drain the whey for 6-12 hours (the whey can be reserved for other uses).
- Knead salt into the Cream Cheese, flavoring it to your taste.
- Store your finished Cream Cheese in a closed container in the refrigerator for about a week. If freezing, remove as much whey as possible and salt well first.