Bagel & smear is one of those breakfast foods that sound appealing, as it tastes. Smear, of course, is the nickname for cream cheese, that wonderfully thick spreading we put on bagels (or any bread) that syncs up our taste buds.
Whatever it costs at the supermarket, we’ll buy it, but what if were possible to make that same taste at home…. or even better? It is possible because only four ingredients are needed and the cooking techniques required are minimal.
The only ingredients in this easy DIY recipe are:
4 cups of heavy cream
½ cup of whole milk
¼ cup of white vinegar
2 teaspoons of salt
It takes some time to get it right, about a day and a half, so work accordingly. To start, get a clean, heavy-bottomed saucepan, and heat the cream, milk, and salt on medium heat. Stir gently continuously until it reaches 180-degrees on the thermometer, just as bubbling starts. Remove it and cool it for 5 minutes.
Next, add the vinegar and stir gently, again. Taste it; if it isn’t as tangy as preferred, add a bit more vinegar or salt. Then, cover the pot with a towel, not a lid, and let it rest at room temperature for at least 8 hours. During that time, a thick curd layer forms on top and a thin, watery liquid forms underneath. Get a cloth, hold it over a bowl, and pour the mixture on top of it while holding onto the cloth’s edges. Raise the cloth to let excess liquid drop into the bowl. Tie up the cloth and let it drain for several hours until the dripping ends and it feels firm.
That, within the cloth, is the cream cheese just made freshly at home. Put it in the fridge to keep it in handy for the future.
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