At the moment I have an excess of raw cream (cow) that I'd like to make into cream cheese. I've read various recipes, some calling for rennet, some without. A good quality "store-bought" buttermilk or yogurt are the meso or thermophilic culture source that I use. I realize that the addition of a small amount of rennet will give the cheese more body, but other than that what effect does the addition of rennet have on the cream cheese? I'd rather try it without the rennet, just some buttermilk for the meso, but I'd still like to be able to use it successfully in cooking, so that it does not curdle when heated, but behaves in a cheese-like fashion rather than like sour cream.
As an aside, I've had an excess of cream for a while and haven't had time to do anything but skim it from the raw milk and put it in the freezer in quart jars. I figured if nothing else, I can make butter, but once thawed, would this cream be suitable for cheese making as well?
Any thoughts? I'm still fairly novice so appropriate detail would be greatly appreciated!