Mascarpone is a soft, mild, sweet Italian cheese most often found in Italian desserts and pastries. It is similar to American cream cheese, but a little more velvety-smooth. Here's a simple recipe for homemade mascarpone cheese. You can find the starter culture at New England Cheesemaking Supply.
1 quart pasteurized light cream or half-and-half
1 packet direct-set crème fraiche starter culture
1. Heat the cream to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Cover the cream and let set, undisturbed, at room temperature for 12 hours, or until coagulated.
3. If a thicker curd is desired, ladle the curd into a colander lined with butter muslin and drain in the refrigerator for 1 to 4 hours or longer, depending on the desired consistency.
4. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.
Yield: About 1 pound
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