This is possibly the easiest recipe in our book, Home Cheese Making. It’s just plain simple. There are several other recipes for cream cheese in the book, but this one is unique. In fact, I’m not actually sure why it’s called “cream cheese.”
For one thing, it is nonfat. For another, the texture is different. It’s lighter and it feels more like a meringue than a cheese. But, because it’s so light, it’s versatile and it can be used in a wide variety of baked goodies.
I made it because I was looking for a Mother’s Day cake and I found a recipe for Peach Creole Cream Cheese Pound Cake (recipe below). I made a few changes, so the recipe shown is the way I actually made it.
Before you begin, you will need something to hold the cheese as it drains. This can be molds or a sieve or even cheese cloth on a colander. I was making half the recipe, so my plan was to use the heart shaped (Coeur a la Creme) mold and one ricotta mold. Next time I will use 2 ricotta molds (more about that later).
|You will need molds, a thermometer and rennet
(any kind will work).
Creole Cream Cheese
From Home Cheese Making, p. 86
Creole Cream Cheese is a Louisiana dish. It was sold in pint containers with one big curd, topped with heavy cream, and traditionally eaten for breakfast with sugar. The following is reportedly the best recorded recipe. It was written by Myriam Guidroz and appeared in the Times-Picayune newspaper. For a dessert, use heart-shaped molds and top with whipped cream and sugar. (Fromage blanc made according to the recipe in this book and molded in soft cheese molds will yield the same delicious results.)
Note: This is 1/2 the recipe in our book.
1/2 gallon skim milk (may be reconstituted dry milk powder)
1/4 cup cultured buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet
Half-and half or heavy cream (optional)
1. Make sure the temperature of the milk is no cooler than 70F and no warmer than 80F. Place the milk in a large container.
2. Add the buttermilk and stir well. Add the rennet and stir slowly for 1/2 minute. Cover and let set at room temperature (72F) for 12-15 hours.
|I used liquid rennet because it’s easier (than the tablets) to measure small quantities.|
|This is our new thermometer. (I took one out for a test drive and I like it)|
|I got every bit of starter out of the cup by dipping it right in.|
|Measuring “a tad” from one of our mini measuring spoons.|
|This yogotherm is not necessary, I just like to use it.|
|Our new scoop – what can I say? I like our products!|
|At my age, you do stuff like this.|
3. After the cheese has set, ladle it into molds (or other perforated containers, such as heart-shaped molds or plastic butter tubs with holes punched in them) so that the whey can drain. In a large roasting pan, elevate a rack with custard cups, then place the molds on the rack. Refrigerate until no more whey drips out. The cheese will take at least 4-6 hours to form.
|I checked it after 15 hours and it looked good.|
|This whey ended up in the garden.|
|It doesn’t seem possible that this will set in the refrigerator, but it does.|
|There was some loss through the holes, but I scooped it up after a few minutes and put it back in the mold.|
|The coeur a la creme mold has a lot less holes than the ricotta, so it didn’t drain as well. When I put the cheese on a plate, later, it didn’t hold its shape. So, I scooped it up and used it with canned peaches and a little honey.|
|I sprinkled sugar on this.|
|I love the design the ricotta mold makes.|
4. Place the cheese in clean containers. The cream cheese will keep in the refrigerator for at least 1 month. When you are ready to eat it, spoon the amount you want into a bowl and cover with half-and-half.
Now I was ready to make the cake. I found the recipe at a Louisiana radio station website (oddly enough) and after making a few small changes, this is how I made it:
Mother’s Day Peach Creole Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Yield: 12-14 Servings
|I don’t have time to puree peaches, and the little jars come
in handy. (These days most baby food has no added sugar.)
1 cup Creole cream cheese
1 small baby food jar of peaches
1 cup butter
3 cups sugar
1 tsp orange extract
½ tsp lemon extract
¼ tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups sifted flour
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 325º F. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt or tube pan. In medium bowl whisk together the drained Creole cream cheese and 1 jar of baby food, blending well, then set aside. In a large mixing bowl on medium speed cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, blending after each addition. Add all flavorings to batter and stir lightly. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Alternately add flour mixture and peach cream cheese mixture to mixing bowl with butter, sugar and eggs. Beat well, scraping bowl a couple of times during process. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes. Cool before icing with your favorite glaze or the frosting recipe below.
|You can use your usual glaze instead of the frosting.|
Ingredients for Frosting:
3 tbsp butter
3¾ cups confectioner’s sugar
1 jar baby food peaches
In a large bowl, cream butter with an electric mixer. Add sugar gradually, alternating with baby food. Whisk in peach purée and cream for 2 minutes. Frosting should be creamy, but not too stiff. Frost cake and allow to drip down sides.