On a lark we ended up at a local farm that is licensed to sell raw milk on a Sunday drive. It’s not exactly easy to get to, but worth the drive.
Raw milk is the best choice for cheesemaking, but you have to find a farm and also know it is licensed and run properly. Wether or not you can source raw milk depends on the state or country you live in. Some, like Washington State, allow it, but it is carefully governed. In others it is banned out right. You can use pasteurized milk in cheesemaking, but don’t use ultra pasteurized. Non-homogenized is necessary as well, which raw is. Some stores carry Organic Valley non-homogenized, so keep an eye out. It is a nice milk. Your cheese will only be as good as the milk you put into it. PS: If you are not sure if a farm exists, ask around on local Facebook pages.
Awhile back I had received cheese making kits from Cultures For Health, and they had gotten tucked away. I had recently found them, and decided it was time I played with it. The kits contain things such as a thermometer, cheesecloth and the ingredients needed to produce cheese (such as rennet, tartaric acid, cheese salt and other items, depending on the kits). It’s a fun way to get into it – and each kit contains detailed instructions. Beyond that, it isn’t a one-use kit – these kits can make up to 48 pounds of cheese for example! I’m hooked, you will be too!
I took the recipe for Mascarpone from 200 easy Homemade Cheese recipes, on page 76, and used the dessert recipe on page 77 to make a version of Coeur à la Crème. If you ever wasted hours at the gym watching Giadia on Food Network, you know she uses this cheese like it’s free….if on the other hand you have ever found it in a US grocery store, you know it is expensive beyond belief. If you can find it. In most cases, you end up using cream cheese in recipes, and it just isn’t the same!
- 2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream (35% fat)
- 1/8 tsp tartaric acid
Wash a stainless steel double boiler, fill the lower half with a few inches of cold water. Place the top part on, add in the cream. Place over medium heat, and warm cream to 195°, stirring often with a stainless steel spoon. This can take quite some time, a good 30 minutes or longer. Check the cream often with a thermometer, tipping the pan carefully to insert the thermometer. Once it reaches the temperature, slide the pan off the burner, stir in the tartaric acid. Stir well for 30 seconds.
Remove inner pan from outer, stir cream for 3 minutes, until cream is thickened and curdled.
Pour/scrape mixture into the jelly sack, place over a bowl to catch any liquid. (Mine produced about 2 Tablespoon whey)
Place in refrigerator for 12 hours, letting drain as needed.
Transfer cheese to an airtight glass container, store in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Makes about 1 cup.
Cream in the double boiler, slowly heating.
Coeur à la Crème
- 1 batch mascarpone cheese
- 1 Vanilla bean
- ½ cup whipping/heavy cream (35% fat)
- 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, or other berries
In a small mixing bowl, add the mascarpone cheese. Slit the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out vanilla seeds and add to cheese. Gently whip with a whisk.
In another bowl, add in heavy cream and powdered sugar. Beat till soft peaks form.
Fold in the whipped cream into the cheese, in 3 sections.
Serve dollops of the crème with fresh berries sliced.
FTC Disclaimer: We received items for review, used in this post. All opinions are our own, and we received no financial compensation.