I love making cheese! To date, I have made Ricotta and Mozzarella Cheese. Since summer is upon us, I have been using a lot of cream cheese in desserts and wanted to make my own. Even on sale, it cost $2.00 per 8 oz. block. This recipe will make approximately 2 cups, which is 2 – 8 oz. blocks. For less than the cost of one cream cheese, you can make two. Hello…I am all for it!
I used Junket Rennet Tablets to make this cheese. I bought a couple of boxes last year when I made mozzarella, I could not find rennet locally. It seems, when I decide to make something new, I have no patience to wait for shipping. Rennet drops can also be used. I would use 2 drops for this recipe.
Here is the link I used to make the cheese from Junket. American Neufchatel Cheese Cheese. I used 1/2 gallon milk to make this…as a test run, and ended up with 2 cups Neufchatel Cheese, the equivalent to 2 – 8 oz blocks.
American Neufchatel Cheese Cheese
- 1/2 or 1gallon whole milk
- 1/8 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 1/8 or Junket Rennet Tablet, or 2 drops rennet
- 1/8 cup water
- 5 quart or larger heavy non-aluminum stock pot with lid, sterilized
- very large strainer, sterilized
- 1 gallon container to catch whey, sterilized
- handkerchiefs or very fine cheesecloth, sterilized
- large slotted spoon, sterilized
- measuring cup, sterilized
- instant read thermometer, sterilize probe only
- whisk, sterilized
- long blade knife, I used a decorating knife
Sterilize items needed, except instant read thermometer, in boiling water or dish washer. Sterilize instant read thermometer according to directions. Let dry.
Pour 1/2 gallon whole milk in sterilized stock pot. Slowly bring whole milk to 65 degrees F. While whole milk is heating, break Junket Tablet into 1/8 piece, crush and add to 1/8 cup water. Or, add 2 drops rennet to 1/8 cup cold water.
When whole milk has reached 65 degrees F, stir in buttermilk and crushed Junket Tablet in water or rennet drops in water. Whisk to mix completely. Put lid on stock pot and let sit 8 to 12 hours or overnight. When milk has coagulated, and, when moved with a spoon, forms a firm peak, cut into 1” cubes.
Line strainer with handkerchief. Place strainer over 1 gallon container to catch whey. Spoon coagulated milk into strainer. If handkerchief gets full with liquid, lift one side and gently push to release the whey. Depending how big your strainer is, you may need two. My largest strainer was very full using 1/2 gallon whole milk to make the cheese.