Creole Cream Cheese

Creole cream cheese was once a widely-eaten favorite, mostly at the breakfast table, either alone or with fresh fruit. It was available in every store, sometimes from several sources. Then it came close to disappearing completely. In the last few years, some small dairies on the North Shore–Mauthe’s and Smith’s–have begun making it again.

Creole cream cheese is clabber–the solid part of milk that has turned and separated. That’s it! All you have to do is control the separation, and you’re there. Here’s how to do it–but I will add that you’re probably better off buying the ready-made Creole cream cheese. Unless you use a lot of it.

  • 1 gallon low-fat milk
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 tablet or 6-8 drops rennet (available at natural foods stores)

1. Combine milk and buttermilk in a large bowl. If using rennet tablet, mix it with about a tablespoon of warm water to dissolve first, and add to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to stand at cool room temperature for 24 hours.

2. The next day, the milk should have separated. Place a large sieve over a wide bowl, and pour the clabbered milk into the sieve. Wrap plastic wrap over the whole thing and let it continue to stand and drip for another day.

3. On the third day, pour off the liquid from the bowl and move the sieve and its contents onto a clean bowl or pan. There won’t be as much liquid now, so it doesn’t have to be as large as the first bowl. Cover again and store in the refrigerator for one more day.

4. On the fourth day, the Creole cream cheese is ready to be packaged in plastic containers or eaten. It can also be frozen. The classic way to eat it is doused with a little light cream or half-and-half, with sugar to taste.

Makes about a quart.

3 Readers Commented

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  1. A A Weber on February 9, 2014

    Tom, while reading your recipe for creole cream cheese, I noticed it doesn’t require cooking, but I saw still another recipe requiring the skim and buttermilk to be heated to 110 degrees over a medium heat, with the rennet added after the milks are taken off the stove.

    Does cooking (or not cooking) the combined milks make a difference? I’d like to try making cream cheese, but want to get it right. Thanks.


    • Tom Fitzmorris on February 9, 2014

      If you’re looking to save time, heating it will probably do it. I’ve never done it that way, and i doubt that the flavor would be either better or worse.

      Tastefully yours,
      Tom Fitzmorris

    • Tom Fitzmorris on July 12, 2015

      I have never cooked it.

      Tastefully yours,
      Tom Fitzmorris