To accompany the pastry for the Daring Baker’s challenge this month, I made homemade mascarpone cheese and converted it into a filling. This was the first batch of cheese I’ve ever made, and it was surprisingly very easy. After using the filling in my pastry, I gave the rest of the filling to my walking partner who enjoyed it a little too much. Here are some process photos that I took at night (hence the bad photo quality):
Then fold over the cheesecloth and let sit in the refrigerator. It will look liquidy at first, but it will look like the above photo by the next morning…Ecco il mascarpone!
This is the mascarpone out of the cheesecloth. It’s now ready to be used in the filling…sorry I don’t have any photos of that…The recipe for the filling will be on my Daring Baker’s post.
- 500 ml whipping (36 %) pasteurized (or ultra-pasteurized), preferably organic cream
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a wide skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low so the water is barely simmering. Pour the cream into a medium heat-resistant bowl, then place the bowl into the skillet. Heat the cream, stirring often, to 190 F. It will take about 15 minutes of delicate heating. Add the lemon juice and continue heating the mixture, stirring gently, until the cream curdles. Do not expect the same action as you see during ricotta cheese making. All that the whipping cream will do is become thicker, like a well-done crème anglaise. It will cover a back of your wooden spoon thickly. You will see just a few clear whey streaks when you stir. Remove the bowl from the water and let cool for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, line a sieve with four layers of dampened cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Transfer the mixture into the lined sieve. Do not squeeze the cheese in the cheesecloth or press on its surface (be patient, it will firm up after refrigeration time). Once cooled completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (in the sieve) overnight or up to 24 hours.
The first time I made mascarpone I had all doubts if it’d been cooked enough, because of its custard-like texture. Have no fear, it will firm up beautifully in the fridge, and will yet remain lusciously creamy.