Nothing beats a New York bagel with a shmear of cream cheese. I can't tell you how many times I have longed for a little bagel shop to open just around the corner from the farm. It's never going to happen, but at least I can make spectacular cream cheese on my own.
The whole process takes 2 days, but you will be rewarded handsomely. This cream cheese is particularly good in fresh cheesecake recipes. You can use the leftover whey for protein smoothies.
Warm the milk and the cream in a large, nonreactive pot until the temperature reaches about 70° F (21° C) on a candy thermometer. Don't let the mixture boil. Remove from heat. Stir in the buttermilk, then add the rennet.
Cover the pot and keep at room temperature overnight. The mixture will be set the next day.
Sprinkle the salt over the surface of the congealed mass, and whisk into small curds. Line a large colander with cheesecloth and place over a bowl large enough to hold the whey. Gently pour the contents of the pot into the colander and let drain for about 30 minutes. Set the whey aside for another use.
Gather the corners of the cheesecloth and tie them together to form a bag. Place the colander, with the cheese bag in it, back on the bowl. Put the whole thing in the fridge and the cream cheese will be ready to use the next day.