Schmear

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Schmear is a Yiddish word that refers to a spread that goes on a bagel. This one has just 3 ingredients, and it will take your bagel brunch up a notch.

Photo by Linda Xiao, Chronicle Books 2022

As you all know, I’m an avid cookbook collector, and right now I’m loving the new Bagels, Schmears, and a Nice Piece of Fish (affiliate link) by Cathy Barrow. The book is filled with well-tested recipes and advice on how to achieve bagel brunch perfection – everything from step-by-step guides to making authentic, really good NY bagels (the secret, I learned, is not in the NY water like everyone thinks), to recipes for sweet and savory schmears, and many a nice piece of fish.

For the uninitiated, schmear is a Yiddish word that refers to a spread that goes on a bagel, as in cream cheese. But a schmear is not just any ordinary cream cheese. Cathy writes, “At the breakfast table, it’s perfectly acceptable to serve up a rectangular brick of Philadelphia cream cheese in its original form. It has the same familiarity as a cylinder of canned cranberry sauce on the Thanksgiving table. A bagel brunch, though, deserves a schmear, which is different from that block of cream cheese. It is more spreadable and creamy, and is the vehicle for flavorful additions.” This is Cathy’s basic schmear recipe, along with a delicious variation flavored with chives. With only three ingredients, it’s easy to make, and it will take your bagel brunch to the next level.

What You’ll Need For Schmear

Step-by-Step Instructions

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or beaters, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, and lemon juice, increasing the speed as the ingredients combine, until fluffy, lightened, and spreadable, just 1 to 2 minutes. Alternatively, use a medium mixing bowl and a stiff spoon to combine and then stir and whip vigorously to aerate and lighten the mixture.

mixing schmear

If you’d like to make a chive cheese variation, add 1⁄2 tsp fresh lemon juice, 1⁄4 cup finely chopped fresh chives, and 1⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pepper.

Stir to combine.

chive cheese

Pack the schmear into a ramekin or two, cover, and chill until ready to serve. The plain schmear will keep for about a week in the refrigerator. The chive cheese will keep for about 2 days before its oniony flavor becomes overpowering.

Photo by Linda Xiao, Chronicle Books 2022

You May Also Like

Schmear

Schmear is a Yiddish word that refers to a spread that goes on a bagel. This one has just 3 ingredients, and it will take your bagel brunch up a notch.

Servings: Makes 9 oz
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Total Time: 5 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 oz full-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream or crème fraiche
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, and lemon juice, increasing the speed as the ingredients combine, until fluffy, lightened, and spreadable, just 1 to 2 minutes. Alternatively, use a medium mixing bowl and a stiff spoon to combine and then stir and whip vigorously to aerate and lighten the mixture.
  2. Pack the schmear into a ramekin or two, cover, and chill until ready to serve. It will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator.
  3. Chive Cheese Variation: To the schmear, stir in 1⁄2 tsp fresh lemon juice, 1⁄4 cup finely chopped fresh chives, and 1⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pepper. It will keep for about 2 days in the refrigerator before its oniony flavor becomes overwhelming.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (9 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 oz
  • Calories: 91
  • Fat: 30 g
  • Saturated fat: 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1 g
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 10 g
  • Sodium: 500 mg
  • Cholesterol: 50 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

See more recipes:

Comments

  • Hi Jenn

    Do you have a recipe for schmear on Bagels with Jalapenos ?

    Regards
    Madhuri,

    • — Madhuri on May 11, 2022
    • Reply
    • As of now, I don’t – I’m sorry! I will add that to my list of recipes to potentially develop. 🙂

      • — Jenn on May 12, 2022
      • Reply

Add a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.