Creole Cream Cheese Recipe

Creole Cream Cheese used to be widely available in New Orleans, over time however it became harder to find, and never outside of Louisiana. It’s a soft cheese eaten as a breakfast treat, sprinkled with sugar, covered with cream or half & half, and usually fresh fruit. This is what The Picayune’s Creole Cookbook of 1901 had to say about the subject:

Cream Cheese is always made from clabbered milk. The ‘Cream Cheese Woman’ is still as common a sight on our New Orleans streets as the Cala Woman was in the days gone by. She carries a covered basket in which are a number of small perforated tins in which the Cheeses are. In her other hand she carries a can of fresh Cream. She sells her wares to her regular customers, for the old Creoles who do not make their own Cream Cheese are very particular as to whom they buy from, and when once a good careful, clean woman gets a ‘customer’ she keeps her during her period of business, coming every fast day and Friday with her Cheese and Cream, for this is a great fast-day breakfast and luncheon dish.

The “Cream Cheese Woman” has long ago gone the way of the “Cala Woman”, but fortunately for me, I enjoy making it myself. It’s a fairly long but very simple process; combined, about 10 minutes of actual work. Rennet is a coagulating enzyme which comes from a young animal’s stomach, but there are also vegetable varieties. It comes in liquid or tablet form, I use the liquid animal variety. Although I had a hard time finding it in my area, you may find it in tablet form in the baking aisle at your grocer. If not, do what I did and order it from Cheese Supply(dot)com. The shipping is a little steep for just a small item, so I ordered some Manchego, Cheesecloth, and a few other items to pad the bill. The recipe:

Creole Cream Cheese Recipe

2 Quarts Skim Milk
1/4 Cup Buttermilk
8 drops Liquid Rennet or 2 tablets
Cheesecloth

Combine the skim and buttermilk in a good sized saucepan. Over medium heat bring the mixture to 110 degrees F, stirring occasionally. Pour the heated mixture into a large, non-metal bowl. Add the rennet, stir and cover with cheesecloth. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. After a few hours there should be chunks (Curds) and liquid (Whey), try to keep Miss Muffet at bay. Line a colander with a double layer of cheesecloth, then spoon the curds into the colander, try to keep them intact. Let this drain for 1 hour or until it is one solid piece. Discard the Whey, or make Ricotta, which is made from cooked Whey. I haven’t tried it yet, but next time I will. Place gently into a bowl and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Serve with sugar, half & half, and fresh fruit.

*New* I have another recipe for Creole Cream Cheese that says you cannot use Homogenized milk. I’ll have to locate some to see if there is any difference in the finished product. The same recipe states you can substitute reconstituted dry skim milk. Another variation in this recipe is the use of Plain Yogurt as the culture, in place of the buttermilk. I will post when I try this.

There are some companies making this product:

Chef John Folse’s Bittersweet Plantation Dairy
Mauthe’s Creole Cream Cheese, although their website isn’t working.

Recipes using Creole Cream Cheese:

Creole Cream Cheese Ice Cream

8 thoughts on “Creole Cream Cheese Recipe”

  1. hmm, very interesting! i’ve always wondered if i could make my own cream cheese. is this something you could use just like store-bought cream cheese, like let’s say, in a cheesecake? thanks!

  2. It’s a bit different than a store bought cream cheese, almost a farmer’s cheese, but it still has the tang of cream cheese. I actually have a recipe from Commander’s Palace for Creole Cream Cheese Cheesecake, which I’ve made in the past. It also uses conventional Cream Cheese, but it produces a lighter Cheesecake, very good, here is the recipe if you’re interested:

    http://www.commanderspalace.com/las_vegas/recipes.php?detail=1&from=17&title=Creole Cream Cheese

    I made this batch of CCC to make CCC Ice Cream, recipe forthcoming on NOLAcuisine.com!

  3. I have one old, old creole cream cheese strainer form my mother and am seeking more of the same. It is aluminum. Have any ideas? Also, did you ever get a recipe using whole milk? I have made the cheese with skim but would like a creamier and heavier cheese. Any help on this would be appreciated. EAC

  4. I do think that homogonized does not play a role here as skim milk has no fat(or very little) to be homogenized.
    I find homogenized whole milk works well for mozarella and ricota cheeses.

  5. This sounds like the perfect recipe for using raw milk. The milk is not heated to the point of killing the enzymes and the health benefits remain.

    Don’t throw away the whey! Use it for baking breads. Replace any liquid called for with whey.

  6. I have been making Creole Cream Cheese for quite a few years now. I started with a recipe similar to this but it was not the product I loved as a child in the 1950s so I modified it until it was right. This is he recipe I have used for abut 9 years now.

    1 Gal. 2% Reduced Fat Milk
    2 Cups Buttermilk
    1/4 tsp Salt
    1 Rennet Tablet

    Dissolve Rennet in 1 oz. filtered water. Pour Milk into non reactive bowl and add buttermilk and salt. Whisk lightly to dissolve salt. Add dissolved Rennet and whisk to mix well. Cover with Cheesecloth or Tea Towel and set undisturbed at room temperature. In 24 – 36 hours scoop curd into cheese molds and place over tray in refrigerator for at least 12 hours. Remove from molds and place in small margarine or cottage cheese containers with lids. Add Half and Half or Whole Milk before serving.

    This recipe makes a firmer cheese round that is more like the Borden, Walker Roemer or Muller’s Milk recipes of the early 1950s.

  7. I was looking for a recipe for creole cream cheese for a cheesecake recipe that i want to try. I had never heard of or had CCC before, i’m trying your recipe (started it last night). I didn’t have skim milk, only whole milk , so that is what I used. am i shooting myself in the foot?
    The temp in my house is on the cool side. will that affect the coagulation of the milk? I’m not sure what to expect, so i feel a little anxious about the outcome.
    i am really enjoying your site, any food that is NOT midwestern blah interests me.

    thanks

  8. Last year I got a recipe off your wed sight and I have lost it.
    It was with one 11.5oz of creole cream cheese and 6 8oz of cream cheese
    can you email it to me

    Thanks
    Deann

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