On November 4th I posted a blurb about canning cheese. http://whatifitistoday.blogspot.com/2011/11/canning-cheese.html . I wrote about canning cheddar cheese and also cream cheese. Today I tried my hand at both.
I canned seven jars of cream cheese first. I got cream cheese on sale for $1.25 a box. This was even cheaper than getting it in the large size from Costco. I bought six 8-oz. boxes, using about 5 1/2 of the packages. I canned the cream cheese in 1/2 pint wide mouth jars. I should have used the regular jar but instead used these short jars that are about half the height of the pint jars.
It didn't turn out like I planned. The cream cheese oozed out while the jars were in the boiling water bath. When I pulled them out of the water when they were done they spurted out more cream cheese. According to the directions I had researched the cream cheese would not ooze out so you could take them out of the water right away. Either way the jars were a mess when they came out of the water. They all pinged so supposedly there is a seal. After they cooled down a bit I took off the rings. Cream cheese was caked on to the side of the jar and also stuck in the ring. I got the rings scrubbed out right away. What a mess!
I'm wondering if I tried to do this too quickly. Perhaps the cheese wasn't melted well enough before I put the lid on and processed it. Maybe this was caused by some air bubbles. I don't know. I will try it again, and this time I'll use the regular 1/2 pints.
Next was the cheddar cheese. This time I canned the cheese in pint wide mouth jars. I used the shredded cheese from Costco. It was the cheapest around, about $2.50 per pound. I put the cheese into the jars and heated them up in a warm, almost simmering pot of water. As the cheese melted I pushed more cheese into the jar. I decided not to fill the jars up too high since I didn't want a repeat of the oozing. I also didn't let the top 1/4 inch or so completely melt. None of the cheddar cheese was runny melted, just gooey melted.
I wiped each rim with a towel dipped in vinegar. I did this with the cream cheese jars, too. I put the lids on and placed them into the water bath. I boiled it for about 40 minutes. I decided to take the first one out quickly just to see what it looked like. It didn't ooze out like the directions said it may. But I figured I'd better not take any chances. I put it back into the water! About five minutes later I took all seven jars of cheddar cheese out of the water. They all turned out perfectly. As you can see in the picture there is a layer of oil on top of the cheddar cheese. I used the entire five pound bag of cheese for the seven pint jars.
I don't believe the cream cheese jars could possibly be properly sealed, not after the mess that each jar had on it. I'm putting them all in the refrigerator tonight. Tomorrow I'll open one to see what the rim looks like. If it's good then I'll put them into storage. If the rim isn't good, then maybe I'll try it again only in different jars. Otherwise, I think I hear a couple of cream cheese pies calling out to be made!