Saturday, October 30, 2010

Homemade Mascarpone Cheese

I'm on a roll here folks.

Once I figured out that making ricotta cheese was easy, I set about looking for answers to my other "cheesemaking" questions...and here's another seriously easy cheese for you to make.

Start with 2 cups of heavy whipping cream in the top of a double boiler.   If you don't have a double boiler, use a pan of water on the stove and a stainless steel bowl that will fit into the pan and touch the water. Bring the water in the pan to a boil.

Place the bowl of heavy whipping cream over the boiling water.

Whisk gently until your cream reaches 120 degrees (Fahrenheit).  You don't want to do this fast, it should take 15 - 20 minutes.

Whisk in 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice (don't use the stuff in a bottle, please...) Continue to gently whisk over the heat until the cream reaches 180F.  Everything will thicken and coat a spoon. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, then remove the bowl from the pan and place it on a cooling rack for 20 minutes.

Once it has cooled, pour the mixture through a strainer lined with 4 - 6 layers of cheesecloth. You can also use a coffee filter instead.  Because you will be straining overnight in a refrigerator, your strainer needs to fit inside a bowl, and the entire contraption has to find room in your fridge! Cover it with plastic wrap.  I place it directly on top of the "cheese" so minimize any oxidation.  Once the cheese has drained to your satisfaction, store it for up to 4 - 5 days.

Quick use: Mix half a cup of mascarpone cheese, half a cup of parmesan cheese, add a pinch of Marjoram, salt, and pepper, spread over sliced Italian bread, broil until golden, and you have yummy crostini!  Perfect for serving with soup or just a glass of wine.


You can immediately make tiramisu...that's the next post...stay tuned!

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