Homemade Cream Cheese – The Labneh Way

This recipe video is inspired by a Lebanese yogurt cheese
spread called Labneh, but I decided to call it homemade cream cheese because my
sources deep inside Google tell me that “cream cheese” is searched for more
often than “labneh.” In fairness, and with apologies to my Lebanese fans, it really is
almost identical in texture and mouthfeel.


Like I say in the video, the taste is a bit bolder and
tangier than that stuff from Philly, but when is that ever a bad thing? Michele
found some amazing sheep’s milk yogurt at a local farmer’s market, and it was
incredible in this, but I’ve used regular yogurt and it works wonderfully as well.

You can use it as you would any commercial cream cheese, but
the honey and pistachio variation I tacked on to the end would make for a
memorable holiday brunch addition. On the savory side, you can’t beat simply
drizzling over some olive oil and eating as a spread with crispy bread or pita
chips.


Most recipes for this say you can eat it after one day, but
I really think the two-day “aging” and pressing process does great things. The
taste mellows out a bit, and the texture gets even denser and richer feeling. Besides,
if you don’t press it, you won’t get those signature, and ultra sexy
cheesecloth fabric marks! I hope you give this homemade cream cheese a try
soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about two heaping cups of cream cheese:
1 quart yogurt, try to get something really nice from a
dairy, or use Greek-style
1 tsp kosher salt or to taste
cheesecloth
*If needed, use a paper towel to blot off any additional moisture that come to the top during the 2-day pressing in the fridge.
Note: I’ve only made this one way, so I’m not sure what
happens if you deviate from the recipe and use low-fat yogurt, etc. Let me know
if you try something different!

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