This post is from KS contributing writer Jamie Larrison.
If you’ve read my blog at all you’ll know my little family is obsessed with ice cream. Whether it’s the classic mint chocolate chip with homemade chocolate chips, or vanilla drizzled with honey sweetened caramel and raw hot fudge sauce, we can’t get enough.
And even though I’ll admit to succumbing to the occasional store bought ice cream treat, they’re so much better when they’re made at home. Once you’ve been spoiled by the creamy, sweet, premium, homemade goodness, you won’t want to go back!
Waste Not, Want Not
I came up with this recipe out of necessity. I didn’t want to pitch the drippings from homemade strained cream cheese, but I also had no idea what to do with it at first. My husband’s favorite dessert is ice cream and his second is cheesecake. So what better way to please the man than with cheesecake ice cream? Though I love it just as much as he does!
You Make Homemade Cream Cheese?
Instructions should be included with your culture when you purchase, however I’ve included instructions for how our family makes it. I would recommend using the Cultures for Health brand, although we’ve recently used product from the website Get Cultured because it was given to us.
Instructions will be similar across the board. You may need to play around with the culturing times and location until you find out what works best for your situation. Our utility room is much cooler than the rest of the house in the summer months so I’ve been culturing the cream cheese in there, as opposed to the blazing hot kitchen. Warmer areas will also need a shorter culture time.
Don’t be intimidated by the time it takes to culture this! There is very minimal hands-on time as most of it is spent letting the cream do its thing.
- 6 c. raw cream
- 2 c. raw milk
- ⅛ tsp. cream cheese culture
- 1 drop liquid rennet dissolved in 2 Tbs. water
- Heat the milk and cream to 75 degrees, stirring gently with a whisk.
- Sprinkle the culture on top of the cream and allow to sit undisturbed for 3 minutes before stirring it into the cream.
- Pour the rennet and water into the cream and incorporate by using an up and down motion.
- Move the pan off of the heat and to a location where it can sit undisturbed at room temperature, between 70-75 degrees for 12-16 hours. During this time the top layer of the cream will gel and have the consistency of pudding. Cooler temperatures will require a longer culturing period. Don’t let the cream get too warm though or it won’t set up!
- Once it has thickened, use a large, shallow bowled spoon to gently ladle the top layer into a doubled up cheesecloth or fine mesh bag. The bottom part is quite watery and it's not hard to tell what to scoop and what to leave. I've never used the watery portion for anything; I just pitch it.
- Gather and tie the corners of the cheesecloth before hanging it over a large bowl to drain. I use this bag and secure it with a rubber band to the top of a large glass jar.
- Allow the cream to drain for 10-24 hours at about 55 degrees. I’ve never needed to drain this longer than 12. Check on it periodically, kneading the bag gently to move the cream cheese around. If you don’t have a cool enough area you can drain the cream for half of the recommended time at room temperature and the other half in the fridge. Be sure to not let this culture for too long or the cream cheese won’t solidify and you’ll have a runny mess!
- Once it has drained, remove the finished cream cheese to a lidded container and store in the fridge. It’s recommended that this be used within 3 days, but if you start out with very fresh cream, I’ve found it can last 1 week.
- Reserve the cultured cream that drained through the cheesecloth and into the container. Allow this to set in the fridge undisturbed for a day and separate. On top will be the semi-thick cream with a very watery substance on bottom. Scoop off the thicker top layer for this recipe. (It's the consistency of runny pudding and has a cream cheese flavor to it.)
Frozen Berry Cheesecake Pops
We’ve made at least 4 batches of this with fresh strawberries, but blueberries and raspberries are both in season and just as yummy!
If you don’t have time to make fresh cream cheese, I’ve included the option to use regular block cream cheese. Be sure to support local and buy quality, organic, grass fed if possible.
(Katie here – I’d love to give this recipe a try with my homemade yogurt cheese! Let us know in the comments if you try it.)
- In a blender puree berries and drained cream cheese (or cream cheese and milk, if using) until smooth.
- Sweeten with honey if desired. Stir in chocolate chips if desired.
- Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Disposable cups with popsicle sticks or spoons placed in the middle can also be used.
- Roll popsicles in graham cracker crumbs just before serving if desired.
Note: If you’re interested in cheesemaking, GNOWFGLINS has a fantastic set of eCourses, one of which includes two dozen cultured dairy and cheesemaking lessons!
How are you resourceful with your whole food grocery items?
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post to Amazon and Tropical Traditions from which I will earn some commission if you make a purchase. See my full disclosure statement here.