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Can I make cream cheese from yogurt at home?

  1. Line a colander with 6 thin layers of cheesecloth and place it over a bowl, allowing the cheesecloth edges to dangle over the sides. Pour in the yogurt and gather the cheesecloth at the top. Knot the bundle at the top with kitchen twine and place the yogurt partly inside a big bowl or large measuring cup in the refrigerator for 24 hours to drain. Monitor the liquid level in the container and dump it out if it becomes too high.

  2. Unwrap the cheesecloth and set the cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and stir until smooth and well blended.

  3. 4 thin layers of clean cheesecloth line a 4 1/2-ounce ramekin or small dish. Pour the salted cream cheese into the ramekin, being careful not to create air pockets. Smooth the top of the cream cheese and lay a little circle of plastic cut from a plastic bag on top. The ramekin should just fit within the plastic. Fold the cheesecloth over the top and cut off any excess. Cover the ramekin with another piece of plastic wrap.

  4. Make a little cardboard circle just slightly smaller than the interior of the ramekin and set it on top of the plastic wrap. Put a small heavy item (such as a food can) on the cardboard. Refrigerate for 2 days to squeeze and mature the cream cheese.

  5. Unwrap all of the layers of plastic and cheesecloth carefully to uncover the pressed cheese. Place on a serving platter, flat side down, to reveal the cheesecloth markings. Save any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Cook’s Note:

Serve with crisp crackers or toasted bread pieces, drizzled with honey, and topped with chopped pistachios.