Here, the traditional French sweet cheese is served with a blood orange curd and becomes reminiscent of a creamy, retro citrus treat. Leftovers would be nice for breakfast or a teatime snack.
You'll need a 7-inch, 15-ounce heart-shaped perforated mold (with drainage holes on the bottom) or a 6-inch fine-mesh strainer, plus cheesecloth for lining. If you use individual 4-ounce perforated molds, each one needs to be lined with cheesecloth.
Mascarpone can be expensive to buy; if you're up for an easy overnight recipe, see NOTES, below.
Make Ahead: The dessert needs to be refrigerated overnight and can be made up to 3 days in advance.
Servings: 4 - 6
- 1 cup homemade or store-bought mascarpone cheese (see NOTES)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
- 1 cup homemade or store-bought blood orange curd (see related recipe)
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted, for garnish (optional; see NOTES)
- 1/4 cup diced candied orange peel, for garnish (optional)
Wet the cheesecloth and wring it out, then use a double layer to line the perforated mold or strainer, allowing plenty of overhang.
Combine the mascarpone, sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer on medium speed, beating until the mixture is lightened.
Beat the whipping cream in a separate bowl to form soft peaks, then use a spatula to fold it into the mascarpone mixture. Transfer to the lined mold or strainer, filling to the edges and smoothing the surface. Cover with the cheesecloth overhang. Place on a plate (the mixture will weep). Refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days.
When ready to serve, uncover and invert onto a platter. Smooth the surface and sides with an offset spatula as needed. Serve chilled, with the blood orange curd. Garnish with the almonds and candied orange peel, if desired.
NOTES: To make 1 cup of mascarpone, heat 2 cups of heavy whipping cream in a saucepan over medium heat to about 180 degrees. Stir in 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and a pinch of salt; stir for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and let sit for 30 minutes. Without stirring, pour just the thickened cream at the top into a cheesecloth-lined sieve suspended over a bowl. Refrigerate and let drain for 8 hours or up to overnight. The mascarpone can be refrigerated, loosely wrapped in cheesecloth and covered, for up to 5 days; pour off any whey that collects.
Toast the almonds in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant and lightly browned, shaking the pan a few times to keep the nuts from burning. Cool completely.
From Washington food writer Cathy Barrow, who blogs at www.mrswheelbarrow.com.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.