If I had known it was this simple, I would have done it a long time ago. I had no idea how easy it was and then when it was done, there was this early American, back to grass roots, satisfaction with the end product. That is until I did a little more research online to see if I had done it right. From what I can understand, I started the process at the half way through point. You can read about it here, but it has something to do with the right pH level and heating of milk. However, my kids and I had a great time with our little experiment and look forward to "making" cream cheese often.
Items you'll need: Organic, low fat, plain yogurt, 2 bowls, 2 cotton towels and something to tie it all up (yarn, twine, etc.)
Take one of the cotton towels and line a bowl with it. If there is a fuzzy side and a flat side, be sure to put the flat side up. It's easier to pull the cheese off the towel when it is finished.
Pour half of the carton of yogurt in the towel. You will want to divide the carton between two towels and two bowls. If you don't, there's a chance the inside of the cheese will not dry out enough during the process.
Pull up the side of the towel to make a sort of package and tie it securely with your string. Use enough string so that there is leftover to make a loop. Slip the loop over a knob or hook somewhere in your kitchen with the bowl resting underneath. You will need to let it drip for a minimum of 6 hours. Overnight is probably best.
The liquid that drips out is whey. You can either discard the whey, or use it to lacto-ferment vegetables and fruits. I will be blogging about that soon. What was left after we let it hang for 6 hours was a very creamy version of cream cheese. Every single person in my family loved it and agreed we should no longer purchase the store brands. This was easier to spread on bagels and will make a nice low-fat substitute for butter. I will have to see how well it works in a recipe that calls for the processed store bought version. I think the next time I make it (tomorrow) I will hang it overnight and see if it doesn't get a little drier with the longer hanging time.
All in all, we were very pleased with the outcome and would recommend to anyone to give it a whirl.