Creamy Cheese (like Coeur a la Creme)
Source: Best of Bon Appetit 1979
Makes 2 to 3 cups
This is very much like a Coeur a la creme.
4 cup half-and-half
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons cultured buttermilk
Step 1: (allow 24 to 48 hours)
Heat creams until lukewarm (about 90 degrees F) then stir in buttermilk and pour into a bowl. Cover bowl with clear plastic and wrap snugly in a bath towel; place in warm area. In 24-48 hours it will have developed a consistency like soft yogurt. When it no longer flows as the bowl is tilted, you are ready for the next step.
Step 2: (allow 12 to 18 hours)
Rinse several lengths of cheesecloth to remove sizing. Line colander with cheesecloth and place in kitchen sink. Gently pour softly curdled creams into the colander and allow to drain about 15 minutes. Fold cheesecloth over cheese and place colander with cheese in a deep bowl. Cover completely with plastic wrap to make an airtight seal and place in the refrigerator to continue draining 12-18 hours.
Step 3: (allow 36 to 48 hours)
Spoon drained curd from cloth into bowl and stir in any seasonings you might want (try adding chopped basil) or leave plain and add the salt to taste. Shape into balls and put into a cheesecloth-lined unvarnished basket or back into the colander. Put in shallow pan to catch drippings. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 36-48 hours, depending on how firm you want the cheese. Tightly covered and refrigerated, the cheese will last about 5 days.