Fresh Cream Cheese


1 quart pasteurized, whole milk
1 cup reduced-fat cultured buttermilk (see Note)


Line colander with double thickness of cheesecloth. Place colander inside large bowl.
Pour milk into heavy, 2-quart stainless steel saucepan. Attach candy thermometer inside pan. Over medium-low, heat milk to scalding, 165 degrees. Add buttermilk. A few curds will form immediately. Continue cooking until temperature reaches 200 degrees. Stir gently once or twice. Reduce heat to low, maintaining temperature at 200 degrees for 10 minutes or until curds completely separate from whey, a pale greenish-yellowish liquid. Don't rush this step.
Pour mixture into colander; discard whey. Gather corners of cheesecloth and twist together. Tie with loop of string, slide loop onto a wooden spoon and hang bag over bowl. Drain 2 hours.
In some cuisines, drained curd is pressed under a weight and compacted into a disc. I prefer seasoning with a pinch of salt and whirling it in food processor for more velvety cheese. To store, place in a covered container and refrigerate up to 4 days.
Note: You can substitute 4 teaspoons distilled white vinegar mixed with 2 tablespoons water for the buttermilk. This method produces about 5 ounces, or 3/4 cup.
Garlic cheese: Place 8-10 large cloves of garlic, peeled or unpeeled, in a 1-quart pan with 1 cup chicken broth. Cover and simmer until garlic is very tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Uncover and continue simmering until most of broth evaporates. Place garlic in a sieve over a bowl. Press through sieve with pestle or rubber spatula. Stir into fresh cream cheese to taste, starting with 2 teaspoons garlic per cup of cheese.
Mock mascarpone: In a food processor, beat until smooth 1 cup fresh cream cheese, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, and 2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur or 1 tablespoon undiluted frozen orange juice concentrate and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
Use as filling for crepes. Or mound on a plate and serve with fresh apricot halves and sliced peaches. Or thin slightly with 1-2 tablespoons of milk and serve as dip with strawberries.




1.0 servings


Friday, December 10, 2010 - 1:02am


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