Recipes For My Boys: American Neufchatel Cheese with Picture Tutorial

Sunday, June 23, 2013

American Neufchatel Cheese with Picture Tutorial

I love making cheese!  To date, I have made Ricotta and Mozzarella Cheese.  Since summer is upon us, I have been using a lot of cream cheese in desserts and wanted to make my own.  Even on sale, it cost $2.00 per 8 oz. block.  This recipe will make approximately 2 cups, which is 2 - 8 oz. blocks.  For less than the cost of one cream cheese, you can make two.  Hello...I am all for it!  

I used Junket Rennet Tablets to make this cheese.  I bought a couple of boxes last year when I made mozzarella, I could not find rennet locally.  It seems, when I decide to make something new, I have no patience to wait for shipping.  Rennet drops can also be used.  I would use 2 drops for this recipe.  

Here is the link I used to make the cheese from Junket.  American Neufchatel Cheese Cheese.  I used 1/2 gallon milk to make this…as a test run, and ended up with 2 cups Neufchatel Cheese, the equivalent to 2 - 8 oz blocks.

American Neufchatel Cheese Cheese
1/2 or 1gallon whole milk
1/8 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/8 or Junket Rennet Tablet, or 2 drops rennet 
1/8 cup water

Items needed
5 quart or larger heavy non-aluminum stock pot with lid, sterilized
very large strainer, sterilized
1 gallon container to catch whey, sterilized
handkerchiefs or very fine cheesecloth,  sterilized
large slotted spoon, sterilized
measuring cup, sterilized
instant read thermometer, sterilize probe only
whisk, sterilized
long blade knife, I used a decorating knife

Sterilize items needed, except instant read thermometer, in boiling water or dish washer.  Sterilize instant read thermometer according to directions.  Let dry. 

Pour 1/2 gallon whole milk in sterilized stock pot.  Slowly bring whole milk to 65 degrees F.  While whole milk is heating, break Junket Tablet into 1/8 piece, crush and add to 1/8 cup water.   Or, add 2 drops rennet to 1/8 cup cold water.  

When whole milk has reached 65 degrees F, stir in buttermilk and crushed Junket Tablet in water or rennet drops in water.  Whisk to mix completely.  Put lid on stock pot and let sit 8 to 12 hours or overnight.  When milk has coagulated, and, when moved with a spoon, forms a firm peak, cut into 1” cubes. 

Line strainer with handkerchief.  Place strainer over 1 gallon container to catch whey.  Spoon coagulated milk into strainer.  If handkerchief gets full with liquid, lift one side and gently push to release the whey.  Depending how big your strainer is, you may need two.  My largest strainer was very full using 1/2 gallon whole milk to make the cheese.  

Heat whole milk to sixty five degrees.

Crush 1/8 rennet tablet with water
Add buttermilk and
dissolved rennet tablet
to whole milk.  Whisking to mix well.

After 4 hours.

Boil handkerchiefs, if using and hang to dry.


I tilted the pot so you could see better.

I had to scoop again.  ~smile~ 

Line strainer with handkerchief or very fine cheesecloth.  
Handkerchief work great for me and they are cheap.

See, I didn't get a lot of cubes.  But, hey, it still worked!

There is one cube!

My strainer was full to the max and then some!  Be more careful than me.  

Still full but getting a little thicker.

Don't know why this picture is here....just because, I suppose.  

See the whey.  You can save it for ricotta cheese.  I haven't tried that yet. 

Time to tie.

Tie the corners.

I checked and twisted it back together.  
Yay!  I made cheese! 

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