Print the recipe card! pantry made cream cheese
It’s all about the ingredients! Today and again on Friday I’m excited to introduce you to my new favorite pantry friend, Heavy Cream Powder with 72% butterfat. I hear your brains reeling out there. For real, did you even know such a product existed??!
I heard about it three months ago thanks to a comment from Plickety Cat (Jennine). After ordering I was anxious to go online to see how it was used but didn’t find much outside of using it for coffee creamer. Professional chefs use it to add richness to a dish without adding liquid, but that’s all I could find. There aren’t even mixing instructions on the package(s). I called the company (Wilpowder) for more information, but outside of explaining that mixing it should be 3:1 (water to powder), they couldn’t tell me anything. So we’re on our own in figuring out applications for it. I’m happy to test things out with it myself if it means I can make actual cream cheese (and other such wonders) from my food storage.
I tested two brands, Artistre at $23.05 for a 16 oz container ($1.44/oz) and Willpowder at $23.52 for a 16 oz container ($1.47/oz). I bought both on Amazon and paid $13 shipping for the order. The Willpowder, btw, qualified for free shipping.
Based off a “fresh” recipe for making homemade cream cheese (which combined heavy cream, half and half and whole milk) I figured out that I needed an “average” butterfat percentage (all combined) of 18% for the milk mixture I was going to cook up. Since the beginning percentage of the powder itself is 72% butterfat, I determined that I needed to go with a 2:1 ratio (water to powder) to achieve the 18%. I tell you this because (if you’re anything like me) you want to be sure you’re using the least amount of powder needed to get the desired result, since it’s pricey. So this is how I came to the amount of powder I ended up using and it worked.
3/4 cup Heavy Cream Powder
1 1/2 cup warm water
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp. white vinegar
Heat the water over medium heat. Once warm, add the powdered heavy cream and combine until smooth. Heat all just until boiling. Remove from heat and add 2 tsp. vinegar. Return to heat, lowered to medium low, and stir until milk begins to separate into curds. Strain into a colander draped with cheesecloth and allow to drain. Return the “milky” whey (from the first strain) to the pot, adding 1/4 tsp. vinegar to curd. Strain a second time through the cheesecloth. Once the strained curds have cooled to room temperature you can gently squeeze the remaining whey out. Transfer to a bowl and add salt. To “cream” it, blend with a mixer or egg beater until smooth.
Heat the water and once warm add the powder and stir to dissolve. Once the mixture begins to boil, add the vinegar. Return to low medium heat and stir, watching for small curds to develop.
Don’t expect the curds to separate into large curds (like in making ricotta cheese). In this next picture you can see as far as they’ll separate. The first straining’s whey will be milky, return it to the pot, heat to boiling and added another 1/4 tsp. vinegar. Turn down the heat and stir until further curds develop. Strain again through the cheesecloth and in straining it the whey should then strain clear.
After straining for a while (atleast a couple of hours), you can gently (GENTLY) squeeze out some of the extra whey that’s being stubborn.
After all is said and done, this recipe yields 4 oz. of cream cheese. I weighed the powder (at 3 oz.) before beginning. In all, this cream cheese cost about $4.50 to make since it was made successfully with the Wilpowder brand (free shipping, $1.47/oz).
I used my manual egg beater to cream it and make it smooth.
As far as taste and texture goes, the homemade cream cheese most closely resembled Philedelphia brand’s “1/3 less fat” product. There was a detectable taste difference as far as it’s salt content, the Philedelphia brand being more salty. Other than that though, the two products were surprisingly similar.
Philedelphia brand on the left, homemade on the right.
I’ll see you back on Friday when I’ll post about another “testing” of it … making butter.
- Just, FYI, when making any cheese, do not use iodized salt as it interferes with the coagulation of the curds.
- A little more about the heavy cream powder. After being opened, Wilpowder brand (per the company) has a shelf life of 12-18 months so long as you don’t expose it to temperatures exceeding 80 degrees and 70% humidity.
- Both brands worked in this recipe with similar results.