Charm Your Own Cheese

(If you don't get the title, don't worry--it just means that you're less of a Harry Potter nerd than me.)

On our trip to the beer making store, I was inspired by the many books they had on making your own cheese. I've made labneh (yogurt) cheese before, but I decided it might be fun to try something just a little more complicated. I opted for this mascarpone recipe. It's simple in that it doesn't require a cheese press, but more difficult than labneh because of the warming step.

I began with some nice, locally gathered cream. I couldn't find "light cream" like the recipe called for, so I used heavy.

The next step was to heat the cream to 185 degrees in a double boiler.

It took a suprisingly long time, but eventually it got there.

Then I stirred in 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. After putting the lemon juice in, I kept the cream at 185 degrees for 5 more minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so.

Next the cream went, pot and all, into my refridgerator for 12 hours.

This is what the cream looked like after about 6 hours.

And this is what it looked like the next morning, about 12 hours later.

After 12 hours I dumped the, now fairly solidified, cream onto a clean, white towel.

Then I hung it in the fridge over a bowl to let gravity drain out the rest of the whey.

24 hours later we had cheese! The texture was very nice, but the flavor was a little bland. A little salt helped though.