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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Why Buy It, When You Can Make It At Home...

Mascarpone Cheese 

Several months ago I began researching how to make cheese, I guess out of curiosity but also necessity. The small town of Greensboro has a population of 2,500 people. There are two grocery stores in town no bigger than your local gas station, and although one recently started carrying blue cheese (which trust me I am not complaining about), the remainder of the cheese selection is between blocked or shredded cheddar. And when cooking gourmet dishes good cheese is a must, it just is. The quality of cheese will make your dish either good or great! And we all know we want our dishes to be great. So, the first cheese I attempted was mascarpone (\ˌmas-kär-ˈpō-(ˌ)nā\). For those not familiar, mascarpone is an Italian cream cheese that is a delicious topper for grilled summer fruit, spread on bagels or English muffins, in risotto and of course is one of the primary ingredients in our favorite tiramisu dessert. The recipe calls for only two ingredients and a small child could implement the technique required.

Mascarpone Cheese Recipe

Makes: 1 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes tops

2 cups whipping cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Line a strainer with a coffee filter or paper towels and place over medium bowl.

In a medium saucepan, heat whipping cream over medium-low heat until it reaches 190 degrees stirring often.

Once the cream reaches 190 degrees, bubbles should begin to form on the top. Add lemon juice and continue to stir. The cheese will remain a creamy consistency, but once it is thick enough to coat the spoon pour into strainer.

Let rest for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight until solid. Remove and enjoy.

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