Here at Wide Open Eats, we go absolutely bananas over Blue Bell ice cream. From their classic banana split ice cream to Spiced Pumpkin Pecan, The Brenham Texas creamery is always coming up with new fun half-gallon flavors. But did you know Blue Bell occasionally releases regional ice cream flavors? Lucky customers on the Mississippi Gulf coast like south Louisiana and Alabama get to enjoy a few special flavors and one of them is Creole Cream Cheese.
What is Creole Cream Cheese?
Creole cream cheese, unlike regular cream cheese, is a farmer's cheese made from skim milk, buttermilk, and rennet. It's a traditional soft cheese (some equate it to a mix between sour cream and cottage cheese) from New Orleans and is usually mixed with cream, sugar, and fresh fruit and served as a dessert. It is also the key ingredient in creole cream cheese ice cream.
According to the Southern Foodways Alliance, the Mauthe Family Dairy is the reason the Creole cream cheese recipe is still alive and popular. In the beginning, Kenny Mauthe's grandfather produced Creole cream cheese with raw milk. At the time the pasteurization act wasn't even a thing. Once the pasteurization act was erected, the farm stopped production. That is, until the farm saw no local farmers were producing the cheese. The comeback of the soft cheese put the Mauthe Family Dairy on the map. Customers would stop at the Dairy booth at the Farmers Market, sharing stories of how they grew up eating the cheese.
Blue Bell's Creole Cream Ice Cream
Available only in the Mississippi Gulf Coast region, Blue Bell Creole Cream Cheese ice cream is a delicious ice cream combining sweet vanilla ice cream swirled with creole cream cheese. Like Mardi Gras King Cake, the Southern-inspired ice cream is only available in select cities.
How To Make Creole Cream Cheese at Home
Have you ever wanted to make your own cheese at home? According to the New England Cheesemaking Supply, you only need a few special ingredients to make this soft cheese. For starters, grab yourself milk, half-and-half or heavy cream, buttermilk culture, liquid rennet, and calcium chloride. As equipment goes, you'll need a thermometer, cheese molds, cheesecloth, and a draining mat.
To start, add the calcium chloride to your milk and warm it in a large pot to 70 degrees or room temperature. Once to 70 degrees, add the culture and allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes. Add a few drops liquid rennet and stir using an up and down motion using a ladle. Cover and let sit 12-15 hours.
Prepare the curds and whey by cutting the curd into a checkerboard formation and let rest to allow whey to release. Transfer the curd into a cheesecloth-lined colander and let drain 1-2 hours. Place the drained curds into a cheese mold and refrigerate until ready to use. Use the creole cream cheese in your cheesecake recipe or eat it plain topped with fruit.
This article was originally published on February 24, 2020.