Making MASCARPONE  Cheese at home, from scratch

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How to make MASCARPONE  Cheese, that rich, silky, creamy Italian soft cheese at home, from scratch.  So expensive to buy, but so easy to make yourself, and the only two things you might possibly need in the way of equipment is a simple thermometer, and some cheesecloth (butter muslin is another name for this).   Then, just two ingredients….  double (whipping) cream and citric acid.

Of course the Mascarpone Cheese is for TIRAMISU, but that’s to follow,  and a lot more ways of using MASCARPONE, when I can….  These will include making fresh egg pasta from scratch, for making ravioli using Mascarpone Cheese (in sweet and savoury versions).

Here’s a finished TIRAMISU to keep you tempted….

A completed TIRAMISU, enough for 8-12 people, plus one of 2 small ones for gifts.

 

So, let’s back up the bus a little, first…..

Okay, okay, so I’ve not posted anything for a while, and you want more…..

So here’s a wee tease for some things that are coming, soon.

Two easy recipes tonight, for the goodies they are going to be used for……

MASCARPONE, as already said…. and….

Then, the EASY way (you know by now I do things the best, and easiest, way, I can…..) to make DULCE DE LECHE, the most delicious caramel ever… and no, I’m not going to even hint at what we’ll use that for…… yet!

Now, if it’s T.M.I., SKIP this next bit, and just go down to the Mascarpone Recipe, but it’s real life in our household:

*****

I’ve been extra busy with my adult son, who is in end-stage kidney disease from Polycystic Kidneys, so he’s beginning the process for going onto home dialysis (haemodialysis – a machine plumbed permanently into the wall of his bedroom that will cleanse his blood for several hours, 3 days a week), and going through the rigorous process of going onto the donor list, to hopefully receive a donor kidney in the reasonably near future.

There, I’ve told you, now you know why there’s not been much doing lately on here – sorry, but as I said, this is real life.   So, let’s get to the good stuff…….

*****

MASCARPONE CHEESE – made from scratch at home.

It’s so expensive to buy, but OH! so easy to make yourself, at home.

A rich, creamy Italian soft cheese, and the only two things you might possibly need in the way of equipment is a simple thermometer, and some cheesecloth (butter muslin is another name for this).

Then, and two ingredients….  double (whipping) cream and citric acid.

Oh, and patience.  Sorry, that’s a third ingredient!

Ingredients:

1 litre (1 US quart) of cream (double/whipping – at least 40% fat)

1/2 teaspoon Citric Acid (dissolved in 2 Tablespoons cold filtered water)

Equipment:

Pot (st steel preferred), butter muslin/cheesecloth, strainer/sieve, THERMOMETER, spatula, metal stirring spoon.

Method:

Right, so you need to sterilise all your equipment p.   Boiling water, hot water with a touch of bleach, and rinse wash again with boiling water is the simplest way of doing that – making sure all the bleach is gone, or it will taint the finished cheese. Or use a sterilising tablet or powder from any home brew store.

Next, pour your cream into a pot and sloooooowly heat it on the stove, and use your thermometer, watching carefully, until the cream reaches 85 degrees Celsius (185 degrees F).  Stir a little during this process – and be careful of that thermometer.   Make sure the thermometer is well submerged while you are checking that temperature!

When the cream is definitely at 85 degrees Celsius (185 degrees F) , simply pour in the citric acid solution (see recipe), then keep the cream/acid mixture at the same 85 degree temperature for about 5 minutes (yes – use a timer!!) but putting a lid on the pot an leaving it on the turned-off element to keep warm.   Don’t let it get hotter, and you do need patience to keep it at that temp for that long.

If the temperature drops a little, then turn the element back onto low, and stir constantly, to keep at 85 degrees for the five minutes..

After five minutes (yes, you DID time it for the full five minutes, didn’t you?), remove the pot to the bench and leave it, covered, for several hours to overnight.

When you come back to it (if you haven’t peeped already…. yes, I mean you!) you will see it has coagulated (such an ugly word for an amazing process) into a silky smooth, junket-like mix.

Now, put a strainer (sieve) over a container (bowl, jug, pot, etc) and line the strainer with some sterilised  cheesecloth/butter muslin.  If desperate, you could use a clean, dry fine teatowel.

Pour the thick mixture into the lined strainer and leave undisturbed to drain until it is as thick as you desire.   It’s traditionally used at the texture of Greek yogurt, but for some things you might like it thicker (cheesecakes, etc) and for sauces, maybe thinner.   Do not attempt to squeeze the mixture, it will drain successfully by itself.

The thing to be aware of is that it will thicken more in the fridge, so stop the draining before it gets to your desired thickness.

Now, gently use a spatula to ease the cream off the cheesecloth into an airtight container and place in fridge.  It will keep up to a week.

You need about 1/2 the quantity this mixture makes for my Tiramisu, so plenty for sauces (sweet and savoury) or other uses.

Making MASCARPONE Cheese from scratch, at home
Author: 
Recipe type: cheese
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 700 g approx
 
How to make MASCARPONE Cheese, that rich, silky, creamy Italian soft cheese, from scratch, at home. So expensive to buy, but so easy to make yourself from scratch.
Ingredients
  • 1 litre (1 US quart) of cream (double/whipping - at least 40% fat)
  • ½ teaspoon Citric Acid (dissolved in 2 Tablespoons cold filtered water)
  • Equipment:
  • Pot (st steel preferred), butter muslin/cheesecloth, strainer/sieve, THERMOMETER, spatula, metal stirring spoon.
Method
  1. Right, so you need to sterilise all your equipment. Boiling water, hot water with a touch of bleach, and rinse wash again with boiling water is the simplest way of doing that - making sure all the bleach is gone, or it will taint the finished cheese. Or use a sterilising tablet or powder from any home brew store.
  2. Next, pour your cream into a pot and sloooooowly heat it on the stove, and use your thermometer, watching carefully, until the cream reaches 85 degrees Celsius (185 degrees F). Stir a little during this process - and be careful of that thermometer. Make sure the thermometer is well submerged while you are checking that temperature!
  3. When the cream is definitely at 85 degrees Celsius (185 degrees F) , simply pour in the citric acid solution (see recipe), then keep the cream/acid mixture at the same 85 degree temperature for about 5 minutes (yes - use a timer!!) but putting a lid on the pot an leaving it on the turned-off element to keep warm. Don't let it get hotter, and you do need patience to keep it at that temp for that long.
  4. If the temperature drops a little, then turn the element back onto low, and stir constantly, to keep at 85 degrees for the five minutes..
  5. After five minutes (yes, you DID time it for the full five minutes, didn't you?), remove the pot to the bench and leave it, covered, for several hours to overnight.
  6. When you come back to it (if you haven't peeped already.... yes, I mean you!) you will see it has coagulated (such an ugly word for an amazing process) into a silky smooth, junket-like mix.
  7. Now, put a strainer (sieve) over a container (bowl, jug, pot, etc) and line the strainer with some sterilised cheesecloth/butter muslin. If desperate, you could use a clean, dry fine teatowel.
  8. Pour the thick mixture into the lined strainer and leave undisturbed to drain until it is as thick as you desire. It's traditionally used at the texture of Greek yogurt, but for some things you might like it thicker (cheesecakes, etc) and for sauces, maybe thinner. Do not attempt to squeeze the mixture, it will drain successfully by itself.
  9. The thing to be aware of is that it will thicken more in the fridge, so stop the draining before it gets to your desired thickness.
  10. Now, gently use a spatula to ease the cream off the cheesecloth into an airtight container and place in fridge. It will keep up to a week.
  11. You need about ½ the quantity this mixture makes for my Tiramisu, so plenty for sauces (sweet and savoury) or other uses.

 

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