Ingredients

How to make it

  • Place a dry cheesecloth (folded over 3-4 times) over a strainer that is resting in a large bowl.
  • Place the yogurt directly on to the cloth and fold the cloth over the yogurt.
  • Place a pan or a plate over the filled cloth and add something heavy over the plate to press down upon the yogurt to help drain if of any fluid. (I use a cake pan and put a very large jar filled with water in the cake pan. )
  • Let this sit on your counter for a few hours until at least 2 cups of fliud has drained out of the yogurt.
  • Then remove the fluid and replace the weighted object and place the bowl, strainer, yogurt and weight into the refrigerator.
  • Let the yogurt drain over night.
  • Once the draining is complete, the yogurt can be removed from the cheesecloth and placed into a bowl.
  • It should now be firm enough to use in any recipe of your choice or served as it is.
  • *A Personal Note
  • Someone told me to try using a knee-hi nylon stocking. I bought a pair of them and washed and dried one of the stockings. I used a large wide-mouthed jar and slid the stocking opening over the mouth of the jar with the toe portion of the stocking at the bottom of the jar. I used an ice cream scoop to put the yogurt into the stocking. Everything was going great at this point. Then I lifted the stocking up and it stretched and stretched, leaving me with a large amount of yogurt in the toe area and a tube of yogurt going down the rest of the nylon tube. (And I wondered how was this supposed to drain in the jar when most of it was sitting in the jar with the liquid!) I then lifted the entire stocking out of the jar, without trying to press the rest of the yogurt to the bottom because the yogurt comes out of the nylon with the liquid at this point and I didn't want to waste any of it.
  • I managed to get the whole stocking out and tied it to the top shelf of my refrigerator with almost four feet of hose hanging down to the bottom where I placed a folded dish towel to catch any liquid that would eventually drop to the bottom of my refrigerator. I closed the door and let it hang there all night! (I really did!) I hate to tell you what my boys thought when they saw this beige thing hanging in the fridge!
  • The next morning, I removed the yogurt and gently cut the knee-hi down to the bottom. Inside that nylon hose was a very long tube of lucious cheese with a lovely white mass of it at the bottom! I have to tell you that this is the best cream cheese that I've ever had. As I didn't add anything to the whole milk yogurt, it didn't have the salty flavor that's in the well-known cream cheese brand. Its just rich and creamy and ready to be used just as it is. I placed it into a bowl and formed a mound out of it and what you see in the picture above, is the cheese that I made.. white, creamy and ready for a bagel, cheesecake or a few crackers! By the way, four pounds of yogurt made about 1 1/2 pounds to 2 pounds of cream cheese.
  • I have to add that I've done this before using the cheesecloth and ithe method of pressing the fluid out works great. I had used low-fat yogurt in the past but the whole yogurt leaves you with a much richer and flavorful cheese. The low-fat yogurt also has a slight bitter flavor which is not at all in the whole yogurt cheese. Just have fun and consider it a great kitchen experiment!
  • **Optional additions:
  • Sliced or chopped fresh fruit such as strawberries or blueberries. If you enjoy lox, add some slivers or chopped bits of smoked salmon or white fish. Add chopped chives or green onions or even a pack of dried onion soup mix, etc..
  • Add jams or jellies for a sweeter flavor. You can even add peanut butter or any nut butter available.
  • For cheese balls and dips, add some of the following:
  • Dry Ranch, Italian or blue cheese mixes, nuts, black or green olives, finely chopped green onions, white onions, salsa, canned and chopped tomatoes, finely chopped vegetables, etc..
  • For a decadent cheeseballs, add chocolate chips or any ice cream toppings, ganache, nuts, chopped cookies of your c hoice, chopped cherries or strawberries (with chocolate chips!), drained mandarin oranges, etc, etc!
  • *Fruit Pizza Recipe
  • Spread a prepared and baked pizza shell with the cream cheese. Sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar. Add slices of your favorite berries and fruit to the top of the cream cheese and slice to serve.

Reviews & Comments 16

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    " It was excellent "
    Ashrita ate it and said...
    Okay my cream cheese is really amazingly luscious and smooth!! Just had some with a cracker but had to sprinkle some salt on it! :D
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    " It was excellent "
    Ashrita ate it and said...
    So my cream cheese has been hanging by a stocking in the refrigerator for 8 hours now. But I am going to let it sit overnight just to be sure. So excited! :D
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    " It was excellent "
    njspanteach ate it and said...
    Great way to make use of the yogurt we always buy to be healthy but never eat. Thank you!
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    " It was excellent "
    njspanteach ate it and said...
    I imagine this would be really good on a fruit tart?
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  • sceck 3 years ago
    Straining my homemade yogurt through pantyhose right now!!
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    " It was excellent "
    frodo ate it and said...
    i just found this..good post thank you alton brown.......and 5 points HELL YES
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    " It was excellent "
    brianna ate it and said...
    Incredible recipe. I couldn't help but grin when I visualized the kneehigh hanging in your fridge, must have been quite a sight. Thanks for sharing that part of the process with us. I definately have to try this. High 5 from me
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  • zoetheunicorn 5 years ago
    i use this whenever i need cream cheese. Great low-fat alternative. You can use the 'juice' that comes out (whey) in place of buttermilk in any baking recipes (pancakes, muffins etc)
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  • suzzles 6 years ago
    Thanks for the laugh; I really needed it.
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    " It was excellent "
    cherylannxo ate it and said...
    This is fantastic. You have my 5! Have a wonderful day....Cheryl
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    " It was excellent "
    swafaa ate it and said...
    very funny well written with clear instructions. thanks for a great posting.
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  • babytkakes 6 years ago
    very funny story Annieamie. I love recipes like these. No additives or preservatives. Thank you!!
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    " It was excellent "
    greekgirrrl ate it and said...
    Hi Annie, I'm actually making this right now as I type. I have it on my counter for the first 2 hr part. Very exciting!! get back to you later. Helene
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    " It was excellent "
    greekgirrrl ate it and said...
    Excellent..thanks!
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  • lvogensen 6 years ago
    i'm so making cream cheese this weekend, thanks!
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    " It was excellent "
    jett2whit ate it and said...
    Oh my! Thank you for the giggles!! I needed that one. So, what did your boy's say?!!
    Thanks for the great recipe. I'll make sure I follow the instructions to a "T".
    Jett
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    " It was excellent "
    peetabear ate it and said...
    I will have to try this...your description of the knee-hi version had me cracking up... thank you for a great recipe as well as a good laugh...
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    " It was excellent "
    midgelet ate it and said...
    I do like this one!
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