Homemade yogurt cream cheese

My 2nd batch of yogurt came out perfectly and I had decided I was going to make labneh, a middle eastern cream cheese.


This batch was very thick and creamy. I spooned out a 24 oz containers' worth so I could have some regular yogurt for the next couple days. I followed this recipe, tho since it called for a 12 oz container of Greek yogurt and I made a whole gallon, I winged it a bit on how many pinches of salt to use, about 10 pinches of kosher salt and then a tablespoon and a half of lemon juice (give or take). I blended that all in and then I ladled it into a wire mesh colander I had lined with some coffee filters I still had (I do need to see about buying some of the BIG coffee filters to make this step easier when I run out of the little ones):



1 gallon of milk makes a LOT of yogurt. I then folded over the filters, wrapped the strainer and the bowl in a plastic bag and into the refrigerator for 24 hours. I took it out once to pour the whey off into jars to save for other uses.

After 24 hours the amount of yogurt in the strainer was reduced quite a bit:




I unwrapped the top and there was a glorious looking cream cheese:


I turned it out onto a plate:



And unwrapped it:


The flavor is heavenly. Mildly tart and super creamy. I will make a couple containers to use as labneh to share with friends and the rest I will use as cream cheese and make a cheese cake.

I will probably not be making as big a batch like this again, except for when I need a lot of cream cheese (assuming this will work in the cheesecakes I am planning on). A block of cream cheese is at least $1.50 each and then I will need at least 2 for cheesecakes I will be making in the Wilton Excelle Elite 6 x 2-3/4 Inch Springform Pan I picked up. I am planning on picking up the Fat Daddio's Anodized Aluminum Round Cheesecake Pan to make larger cheesecakes, quick breads and even lasagna in my Instant Pot.

From here out, unless I need the whole batch of yogurt for cheese, I will take some to strain for cheese and the rest will go for yogurt.

Now I just need to figure out what I am going to use all the whey I have saved out for.
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