Creole Cream Cheese Recipe

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From Nola Cuisine

I made a fresh batch of Creole Cream Cheese yesterday that I finished today. I just ate what you see in the picture, sprinkled heavily with sugar, and I can tell you honestly, you don’t know what you’re missing if you don’t try this recipe. This is the easiest cheese in the world to make, and you will learn more on its versatility, when I post further with recipes for Creole Cream Cheese Cheescake, and Creole Cream Cheese Ice Cream (a.k.a Frozen Creole Cream Cheese, my fave, which I will make in the next few days.

By the way, what I used for a cheese mold this time was an inexpensive silicone muffin tin, which I punched drainage holes into with a hole puncher, traditionally used for paper (but not here on Nola Cuisine).

The way I have presented Creole Cream Cheese here is at its simplest, the way it was meant to be served; sweetened with fresh fruit and cream as a breakfast treat. Give it a shot, it is extremely cheap and easy to make.

I wrote an extensive post on this subject with the recipe just over a year ago, which I am including below because:

a.) I didn’t have this wonderful camera to show the fruits (no pun intended) of my labor a year ago, and a picture is, as they say, worth a thousand words.

b.) I worked hard reasearching this post, so it bears repeating, at least for my sake (or your sake if you plan on making this recipe.)

Here is the post and recipe from July 29, 2005, about a month before Hurricane She Who Shall Not Be Named reared her ugly head on the wonderful city of New Orleans. I hope you enjoy and learn as much from this post as I did researching and making the dish:

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“>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

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.

Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes! It’s an index with links to all of the recipes featured on this site. Also check out my new sister site to Nola Cuisine called American Gourmand!

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35 thoughts on “Creole Cream Cheese Recipe”

  1. Your writing about that cream cheese made my mouth water; thank you very much. I imagined a more creamy consistency, but judging by the ingredients there is not a lot of fat in the end result. I live in New York City, an impoverished place as far as Creole Cuisine is concerned. I intend to try that recipe, however. I’ll need to find rennet and get just the right kind of milk. There just has GOT to be something more to making it than the simplicity of what you said.

  2. Michael,

    You should have no problem finding rennet, especially in NYC. Even here in Michigan you can find the tablets in a lot of grocery stores.
    True, not a lot of fat in the end result, that is unless you serve it the traditional way as I’ve done here, drowned in cream.
    It truly is very simple Michael, give it a shot you will see for yourself. It can be whipped for a more creamy consistency. Soon I will feature Creole Cream Cheese Cheesecake and Creole Cream Cheese Ice Cream.
    Thanks for you comments!

  3. I have 2 recipes for creole cream cheese, a Gold Seal Creamery recipe and a generic one, which I’ve made a couple of times. They both call for 1 gallon of skim milk, and 1/2 cup of buttermilk. Basically, it’s double your recipe. What I don’t understand, is the amount of rennet it calls for is 8 drops of liquid or 1/2 tablet. Your recipe calls for 8 drops or 2 tablets, for 1/2 the recipe? Does the volume of milk to rennet not really matter that much?

  4. Thank you for the recipe! I would close to kill for some Creole Cream Cheese (I’m going out to buy the ingredients shortly). The silicone muffin tin idea is inspired!

    …And if only I could also have a roast beef poor boy in front of me as well. . .

  5. Both my Mother and Father both worked for My Uncle Sam Centanni’s Gold Seal Creamery in New Orleans. I many times watched as the Cream Cheese was made and got whey too many samples of this great product. Wish I would have paid more attention. Nothing beat that taste. Another thing and place gone a long time ago. I sure miss the Creamery and the people. It was a whey of life for our Flynn fam.

  6. I make Creole Cream Cheese with 1/2 tablet of rennet. Works great, when finished I pour heavy cream over the cream cheese before eating. Closest thing to New Orleans you can get. Unless you have a Dorignac’s in your town. I am a transplanted cajun in Texas.

  7. I am originally from N.O. and now reside in Mobile, Alabama. My Mom used to make Creole Cream Cheese.
    I also miss the Cream cheese ice cream that was available at K&B drugstore.
    You can tell it has been quite a while since I’ve lived in N.O.
    My favorite place to eat was Delmonico’s restaurant.
    Thank you for this publication and your TV series.
    Diane Seelig Sidel

  8. I just came back from NO and had the best weekend ever and this New England girl had her first taste of creole cream cheese when the love of my life (He is New Orleans born and raised)shared this with me. So now I will have to make this for him. Thanks for posting the recipe and I hope I can get rennet in New Hampshire.

  9. I’m yet another 40-something-year-old Cajun who grew up eating Creole Cream Cheese at my maw-maw’s house. She mostly served it with fresh peaches and a little sugar. For the Fourth of July and Labor Day, she always made Creole Cream Cheese ice cream. The men and boys would take turns cranking the handle on the old wooden tub. I remember the anticipation of the frozen dessert.

    At the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute in Thibodaux, Louisiana, we often use the ready-made Bittersweet Dairy brand product in recipes. Creole Cream Cheese mashed potatoes and Creole Cream Cheese Cheesecake are favorites in our kitchen.

    Thanks for bringing back the memories! Question for Dennis Flynn: is there a book about Centanni’s Gold Seal Creamery? I would love to read it.

    Anne Parr, Assistant Dean
    Chef John Folse Culinary Institute

  10. Born and raised in the New Orleans area. My people always seasoned their Creole Cream Cheese with an optional pinch of salt and a generous application of coarse ground black pepper. It was always accompanied with fresh, New Orleans style french bread. A treat served for breakfast or sometimes for lunch.
    Kick it up a notch by adding a dollop of heavy cream.
    To this day, I detest sugar on Creole Cream Cheese.

  11. It was mentioned in your post that creole cream cheese was sold only in LA. I want to share with you that it was sold on the MS Gulf Coast, delivered every day. I was born & raised in Pass Christian. I ate creole cream cheese nearly every day. Sometimes, as a child, I would sneak it out of the fridge & eat the whole cup! i never could get enough. It was my very favorite. Didn’t need any sugar, didn’t need any fruit. I took mine neat! It was sold already swimming in heavy cream. Ah, food for the gods!

    I left the coast in 1983. All these years, I have said I would give my “kingdom” for just one cup of that wonderful cheese. I thought about making it, but had no idea where to start. Non-coast people don’t even know what is!

    So, thank you, thank you, for the recipe. Now I will make some and I will even be willing to eat some of it Josephs’ way! It sounds delicious.

    I had a brain-storm about the rennet that I would like to share with other commenters. I’m going to contact the several colleges in this area, some of which should have agriculture depatments. They surely would sell you a little rennet & it could be picked up locally. If not sucessful, I will use the link on your post.

    I can hardly wait to start a batch!

  12. I am not aware of a book about the Gold Seal Creamery, but there was an article in the Times-Picayune in 1986 about the time Sam Centanni sold the creamery. Perhaps it is on microfilm at the NOLA Public Library? I would love a copy, as I lost my copy years ago. I still have leftover unused carton and lids from the creamery Sam gave my husband when we met him in 1986. We also have a metal part of a machine that filtered the cream or milk. Check out the website to see photos my husband took in 1986 of the creamery. Sam was my father-in-law’s second cousin.

    Sharon Centanne
    Centanni/Centanne Family Historian

  13. I recently bought 2 tubs of Creole Cream Cheese from Bittersweet Dairy, and cannot decide if it is spoiled. When I opened the tubs, both of which were puffed out significantly, the contents were of the consistency of very watery cream cheese, not at all smooth and velvety. The taste was at least as sour as commercial sour cream. Can anyone tell me if this is spoiled. Thank you very much.

  14. Michael – The puffed out containers are a big red flag that tells me that they are spoiled. Don’t take the chance. I always say, trust your nose as well as your instinct. If you question it, toss it.

  15. You sure made my day when I found you on my Computer.
    I was raised in New Orleans, educated in New Orleans
    and Baton Rouge and learned to cook from my Mother
    since I was 10yrs. of age.My Mother got her recipe for
    Creole Cream Cheese in 1929 from a Creole friend while
    “making groceries” at the French Market. A fire in 1940
    destroyed our home in Irmadale and the recipe for Creole
    Cream Cheese was lost. NOW,from you, I have found a similar
    recipe. Thanks for bringing back a Delectable Creole Dish.
    Now living in Clearwater, Florida I can share this lost
    recipe with friends who love Creole and Cajun Cuisine.
    As a Cajun would say…”Un bon diner Cajun excite l’esprit
    tandis qu’il adouci le coeur”
    Merci mon ami!

  16. I live in Australia, is there anything at all which could be used to substitute in the creole cream cheese recipes? Is Philidelphia cream cheese similar? We made the icecream with Philly’s – it was delicious, but we are wondering if it is as it should be.

  17. I am glad that I found your website. My husband is absolutely in love with creole cream cheese. We recently were able to come across some fresh cow’s milk that has not had anything done to it. He does not care for Chef John Folse’s because it is way too expensive in his way of thinking. Now I can make it for him here at home. We live in Belle Rose, LA. It is a shame that more manufacturer’s don’t make it available.

  18. My mom regularly makes creole cream cheese. She’s never had a problem until just recently. She made a batch and it didn’t set right. She described it as putty like – any ideas of what might have happened?

  19. Renee, sometimes the weather can affect creole creme cheese making. Maybe that was the case?

  20. I read Frances Parkinson Keyes novels for the local history (she could have skipped the novel parts but oh well) En fin, her books mention creole cream cheese and also cuite. I know this is a syrup byproduct of sugarcane but can’t find out what it tastes like. Is this just a type of molasses or something quite different?

  21. I made this recipe! It was my first time EVER making cheese…I think it turned out great! SO easy! Hoping my attempt at the ice cream will turn out good too! 🙂

  22. It is sooo nice that we just happened to move back to Louisiana and are about 4 miles from Mauthe’s dairy and the local Mains grocery sells creole cream cheese. It isn’t as solid as what my mother used to make. As far as I remember, she took whole milk and put it in a large bowl with wax paper over it. After a day or so at room temperature, she would remove the cream and put it in molds with holes-I still have the molds somewhere in the kitchen-and let them drain. If the cream was yellowish and bitter, out it went. The good cream was very white. When ready to serve, you shook the rather solid cream cheese into a bowl and pored milk/cream over it. It was much bigger than the store bought of today. As far as I can tell the Germans ate it with salt/pepper and sometimes green onions; the French and Italians ate it with sugar. My father ate his with sugar but my German mother trained me on salt/pepper.
    I’m going to try your recipe soon. Thanks!!
    The only problem is the ease with which I can eat it. I definitely could gain weight very fast. The store bought says 2 servings per container–how about 2 containers per serving?

  23. Dorignac’s makes Creole Cream cheese, here is their recette:

    Dorignac’s Creole Cream Cheese
    Fred Little, manager of Dorignac’s, and Mike Marchaud, cheese maker at the store for the past 18 years.

    2 gallons skim milk
    1/2 quart buttermilk
    1/2 rennet tablet (available at cheese specialty stores)
    Half & Half optional

    Combine skim milk, buttermilk, and the ? rennet tablet in a stainless steel pot. Using a thermometer, bring the temperature of the milk to 80 degrees, stirring constantly and hold for five minutes. Remove from heat, cover tightly and allow to sit 3 hours. Drain off the whey (liquid remaining after the curds are formed) discarding this liquid. Pack the solids in 8-ounce portions topping with equal parts of half and half cream. Chill and serve with sugar or fruit. Creole cream cheese is excellent in ice creams and pastries.

  24. Love Creole Cream Cheese! I’ve had Chef Folse’s creole cream cheese before, however we recently found a little dairy here in South Mississippi making their own creole cream cheese too. Country Girl Creamery out of Lumberton, MS.

  25. Okay, this looks simple enough, but one question. Are you referriing to cultured buttermilk, like you buy in the store or real buttermilk as in the by-product of making butter. I make my own butter and have lots of the ‘real thing’.

  26. Arhm7WYtZIUt

    Yes I live in Arizona and would like to know if Creole Cream Cheese is sold down here at any establishment? If not, do you know where I can find Rennet here in AZ, either liquid or tablet form?

  27. Looks like a fun recipe! I make a lot of cheese at home and have some professional training in it so I can probably answer some of the questions above. It will be quite a bit of text so I will post the points in my own blog: (Don’t worry, I really am a home cheesemaker, not a spammer! 😉

  28. I bought rennet on the Internet. A 2-pack was about $14.00, I think. It came within a few days.

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