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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Homemade Cream Cheese - 2 options

My family loves cream cheese. Seriously. Before we made aliyah, that was me that used to buy out all the cream cheese whenever it was on sale!

Here, though, cream cheese is far more expensive, so it feels like a real indulgence, but sometimes we just HAVE to have it, especially for Pesach!

A friend told me she buys sour cream and drains off the whey to make something that tastes like cream cheese. I was looking at the sour cream in the store, and there it was, right next to the cheaper "Gil" and "Eshel" leben packages. I've taken to using Gil anytime a recipe calls for sour cream, as it is cheaper AND lower in fat.

So, it was time to experiment!

I added a bit of salt to 2 containers of Gil, lined a strainer with a basket style coffee filter, placed it over a bowl to catch the whey that drains off, and filled the lined strainer with Gil. Then I covered it with cheesecloth so nothing would fall into it (like bugs) and let it drain. After about 1/2 -1 hour, I moved it to the fridge, and let it drain overnight.

I pulled back the cheesecloth to show you what it looks like while draining


By morning it was nice and thick and very much cream-cheese-like.

And SO much cheaper than those little containers of cream cheese that sell here for a fortune!

Over time, I've decided this works best with sour cream. I buy the 500g containers, for about 6 shekels. It's so easy and inexpensive!

Let me know what you think if you give it a try!

10 comments:

  1. Oh I found it: http://www.fantes.com/manuals/mikes-yogurt-cheese-maker-funnel.pdf. Look how low-tech it is!

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    Replies
    1. Cute, but I like my way too - I don't have to buy another something to keep track of. I just use simple kitchen things I already own... This does also work for yogurt, as I've made yogurt cheese with it too! (and kefir cheese...)

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  2. I posted a whole thing before this but I guess it's lost in cyberspace. Anyway, I've had one of those since 1987-88 when I lived in the U.S. My dear Aunt got it for me and it was wonderful for making yogurt cheese to use in lower fat cheesecakes, and making "gvina levana" spreadable cheese which did not exist in the U.S. I still have it and made "cream cheese" dip and cake for Shavuot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I use a Firefox addon called Lazarus form recovery. If all the text gets lost, you can just right click and recover your form!

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  3. Oh, is that the secret of the cream cheese you "found"?

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  4. I always use gevina levanah and line my strainer with paper towels. and this way, besides cheaper, its also much lower in fat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. gevinah levanah has crept up in price, and is far more expensive than leben, hence my decision to try leben!

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  5. Replies
    1. I use the exact same method as the one above, I just start with a batch of kefir (I have kefir grains and regularly culture milk to make kefir)...

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