Our choice for the May Curds Our Whey cheese was Mascarpone. I love mascarpone, so I was really excited to make this. I loved the flavor and will definately make it again, but it did not taste like mascarpone to me. It tasted like creme fraiche. It uses a creme fraiche starter, so now I'm not suprised. I did drain it in the refrigerator most of a day to get an even thicker cheese. You can use this in a variety of ways. I would probably just use it anywhere creme fraiche or sour cream is called for. It made a wonderful topping for a fruit crostada. I whipped a little heavy cream, mixed in some vanilla sugar and mascarpone, and continued whipping. The flavor was so good. I also made a sauce out of it to top a purchased ravioli I bought(asparagus and cheese). Put a large tablespoon or serving spoon of mascarpone in a skillet, add zest of 1/4 to 1/2 a lemon, and enough juice to thin (I probably used a tablespoon or two). Add a little salt and pepper. Cook pasta as directed, drain, and add to skillet with the sauce. Stir to combine, then serve topped with grated parmesan.
MASCARPONE WITH CULTURE
1 quart pasturized light cream or half-and-half
1 packet direct-set creme fraiche starter
1. Heat the cream to 86 degrees F. Add the starter and mix thoroughly.
2. Cover 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 1-4 hours or longer, depending on the desired consistency.
4. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.
Yield: About 1 pound